KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 Malaysia is likely to
extend its moratorium on bauxite mining for another three months
or more as there is still runoff from bauxite stockpiles near a
port that is contaminating coastal waters, the environment
minister said on Tuesday.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi
Tuanku Jaafar told Reuters in a text message he would make a
recommendation to the cabinet, although that body would have the
final say on the matter.
Malaysia's largely unregulated bauxite mining industry in
Kuantan, port capital of key bauxite producing state Pahang,
ramped up output starting in 2014 to fill a supply gap after
Indonesia banned exports and to meet demand from top aluminium
The frenetic pace of digging, however, led to a public
outcry over water contamination and destruction of the
In January last year, the government imposed its first
three-month ban on mining of the commodity, extending it several
Wan Junaidi had said in February that he was not inclined to
lift the moratorium yet as heavy rains had caused bauxite runoff
and further contamination.
(Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Tom Hogue)