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Liew looking into Tawau gold mining ops claims

Publish date: Sat, 02 Dec 2023, 09:09 AM

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is looking into the contentious claims that gold mining operations in Tawau are illegal, says state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew.

She said she had directed the state’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to brief her on the overall situation of the project in Bukit Mantri.

“We have to make sure the necessary approvals are in place before mining takes place,” she told reporters after unveiling the Dec-Cover Sabah campaign 2023 here yesterday.

She was commenting on Merotai assemblyman Sarifuddin Hata’s claim at the just-concluded state assembly meeting that the Malaysian Mineral and Geoscience Department (JMG) had issued a letter that mining was not allowed to continue at Bukit Mantri as of October.

Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Abidin Madingkir had, in response, said that as far the state government was concerned, there was no order issued to stop the mining activities in line with Section 18(D) of the Mining Ordinance 1960.

Abidin said an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report had been met, while the renewal of the mining operation scheme approval letter was still under deliberation by JMG.

Liew said the mining operations had met criteria previously but she needed to check whether an update was needed from the EPD on Sarifuddin’s claim.

“I will wait for the full briefing. EIA rules must be observed.”

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