Policy in the works for mining sector

A view of the operations at Sarawak Coal Resources mining site in Ulu Sikat. File photo: Sarawak Energy

A comprehensive policy framework is in the works for the mining sector in Sarawak.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the state government through the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC) is working out the details so that the mining sector, including the non-radioactive rare earth elements (NR-REE), could give maximum impact to the state economy.

“This would also ensure environmental sustainability,” he said in his winding-up speech for the Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources yesterday.

He added that the mining sector is one of the most important sectors in generating Sarawak’s economy.

“The Minerals Ordinance, 2004 which came into force in July 2010, and the Minerals Regulations, 2012 are comprehensive in regulating mining activities in Sarawak,” he said.

On another issue in response to Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) on the quarry operation near 7th Mile Bazaar, Awang Tengah said the state government through the Land and Survey Department has instructed the licensee to conduct a hazard mapping and slope stability assessment.

“The result of the study has concluded that the entire quarry wall was solid (unlikely to fail),” he said.

He said the quarrying work carried out complied with the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the Department of Minerals and Geosciences Malaysia, Sarawak.

“However, the state government has decided not to renew the licence after expiration on Nov 29 this year,” he said.