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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Framework for disused mines

PETALING JAYA: A solid commercial framework that embraces environmental concerns is necessary to transform disused mines into useful land, said Malaysian Chamber of Mines (MCOM) president Datuk Seri Mohd Ajib Anuar.

»We are targeting to produce a blueprint on the use of ex-mining land in 12 months to be forwarded to the Government« DATUK SERI MOHD AJIB ANUAR

Mohd Ajib said there was a common perception by the public that former mines were barren and useless.

“This is not true. There is definitely life after a land is mined off its tin and other minerals.

“Ex-mining land can be used for many commercial and community-driven activities,” he told StarBiz yesterday after the launch of a coffee table book titled Tin Story: Heritage of Malaysia by MCOM.

The book was launched in conjunction with the inagural International Conference and Exhibition On the Rehabilitation, Restoration and Transformation Of Mining Land, which started yesterday and ends tomorrow.

The conference was to gather experts in various fields from 15 countries to meet, brainstorm and look at commercial as well as sustainable ways to maximise the use of former mines nationwide.

“We can learn from each other’s proven ways to commercialise idle ex-mining land to benefit people in a profitable and sustainable manner,” he said.

Mohd Ajib said MCOM, together with various parties including the Kuala Lumpur Tin Market, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Minerals and Geoscience as well as external parties were collaborating on two fronts.

“We are targeting to produce a blueprint on the use of ex-mining land in 12 months to be forwarded to the Government for approval and the development of a solid commercial framework for those interested in converting ex-mining land into useful land,” he said.

There are about 200,000 hectares of disused mines across the country, of which two-thirds have been used while the balance one-third remain idle.

Mohd Ajib, who is also Kuala Lumpur Tin Market chairman, said it had been proven that former mines could be used for various agricultural activities, property development and as a place to harvest renewable energy.

“We are in talks with several experts to kickstart various projects on ex-mining land and some of the projects are expected to commence once we get the nod from the authorities,” he said.

Mohd Ajib said there was also opportunity to market the talent (in the use of former mines) to other countries.

“We also believe these projects will create a lot of employment for Malaysians locally and abroad once they have developed the required skills.”

By The Star

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