No bauxite mining project in Kota Tinggi, says Johor govt

Johor Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon. (Facebook pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: The Johor government today said that no approval has been given for a bauxite mining mega project in Kota Tinggi.

Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon said checks with the Department of Environment (DOE) showed that no approval had been given to any private firm to undertake such an activity.

He also said that no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report had been obtained by a firm, as reported, and that the Kota Tinggi District Council had not received any application to undertake bauxite mining in the area.

Tan said the state government would keep tabs on the matter.

Yesterday, International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse had also said the state government had not received an application to carry out a bauxite mining project.

A news portal recently reported that The One Minerals Mining Sdn Bhd (TOMM) and Hong Kong investment firm Via East West Capital (VEWC) would invest US$350 million (RM1.47 billion) to mine bauxite on 2,833ha in Johor over the next five years.

TOMM managing director Looi Kam Yong was reported to have said the mining project on Felda land in Kota Tinggi was scheduled to begin in four to six months’ time, and would involve five tranches of investment, with the first totalling US$50 million (RM210 million).

The portal also quoted him as saying the project, which had a DOE-approved EIA report, would create between 100 and 150 jobs for every 404.7ha for the local community.