One Step Ahead Into Understanding the Mining Industry in Malaysia

Since 2016, EcoKnights has been collaborating with Waseda University under the Waseda-Bridgestone (W-Bridge) Initiative to study the mining industry in Malaysia. This year, in its second collaboration, EcoKnights conducted a social survey to study The Level of Awareness of Malaysians Regarding The Mining Industry. Following the survey, a few more projects were carried out from 1st March until 3rd March – The Symposium on Sustainable Mining Development and Practices; W-Bridge Initiative Tree-Planting and a knowledge-sharing visit with Spring Energy Sdn Bhd.

The projects under W-Bridge Initiative can be seen as a platform for knowledge-sharing among stakeholders from the mining industry, government, NGO, academia and the public, hence ensuring that Malaysians have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable mining development, in line with SDG 12: Responsible Consumerism and Production.

 

Symposium on Sustainable Mining Development and Practices

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Co-organized with University of Malaya Department of Science Technology Studies (JPST) Faculty of Science, Sustainability Science Research Cluster (SuSci) and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UM SDSN), the ‘Symposium on Sustainable Mining Development and Practices’ was successfully carried out today at University Of Malaya on 1st March 2018.

President of EcoKnights, Yasmin Rasyid giving the Keynote Address in the symposium.President of EcoKnights, Yasmin Rasyid giving the Keynote Address in the symposium.

With the goal of sharing vital knowledge and information among experts and the general public, the symposium aims to raise awareness on the mining industry in Malaysia and its sustainability. It also serves as a networking platform for all participants and industry players in the mining sector, and to showcase sustainable innovations within the mining sector with an emphasis on regulations and policies for all university students, the general public, mining companies and also academics.

Prof. Dr. Misni Bin Misran, Deputy Dean of Research, University of Malaya giving a welcome speechProf. Dr. Misni Bin Misran, Deputy Dean of Research, University of Malaya giving a welcome speech

The symposium included three panel sessions with a line of mining industry experts as the panel speakers, providing their insights about Malaysia’s mining industry. The first panel discussed about ‘Sustainable Practice and Development in Mining’ led by Mr. Teoh Lay Hock of Malaysian Chamber of Mines and Magic Mirror Consulting Sdn Bhd, followed by Professor Teh Guan Hoe who is the Chief Mining Geologist from Spring Energy Sdn Bhd. The second panel featured two academics who are currently doing research in the mining field. Dr. Giuseppe Granata from Waseda University and Dr. Jasmi Hafiz from University of Malaya presented their papers on ‘Current Innovations in Mining Development in Malaysia’. The third panel consisted of speakers from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Assoc. Professor Dr. Ir. Mohd Fadhil and EcoKnights’ Ms. Nabila Shohimi and Mr. Johanan Kong who spoke on ‘Academic and Civil Society Organizations and Their Roles in Mining Development’.

Panel discussion between the symposium speakers and audience.Panel discussion between the symposium speakers and audience.

About 100 participants from various fields - mining industry, academia, governmental organizations, NGOs, and the public, attended the symposium which serves as a platform for them to capture new knowledge as well as to express their opinions towards the sustainability in mining industry and its relationship with the economy, environment and society.

 

W-Bridge Initiative Tree-Planting

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Following the symposium, EcoKnights and Waseda University headed up to Kuantan to hold a tree-planting activity as a symbolic gesture at Taman Bandar Kuantan on 3rd March 2018. The activity was co-organized with Green Mahallah Project (GMP) and BUDI of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), supported by the Landscape Department of the Local Council of Kuantan (MPK) and Spring Energy Sdn Bhd. 

10 Tecoma trees were planted by Waseda University and volunteers from GMP, BUDI and Spring Energy Sdn Bhd, joined by its Managing Director - Dato’ Yap Soon Huat. The Tecoma trees will be taken care by MPK whereas Spring Energy has taken the initiative to monitor the trees as well.

Puan Ajlaa from the Landscape Department of MPK giving a brief on tree-planting.Puan Ajlaa from the Landscape Department of MPK giving a brief on tree-planting.

Students from IIUM and Waseda University during the tree-planting.Students from IIUM and Waseda University during the tree-planting.

Dato' Yap from Spring Energy Sdn Bhd participating in the tree-planting.Dato' Yap from Spring Energy Sdn Bhd participating in the tree-planting.

Dr. Granata from Waseda University labeling the Tecoma tree after tree-planting.Dr. Granata from Waseda University labeling the Tecoma tree after tree-planting.

 

Knowledge-Sharing Visit with Spring Energy Sdn Bhd

EcoKnights and Waseda University were welcomed by Spring Energy Sdn Bhd to conduct a Knowledge-Sharing Visit at its headquarters as well as in one of its bauxite mines in Kuantan. Spring Energy Sdn Bhd is an established company in the local quarry industries led by experts in quarry and civil engineering and construction operations. It practises sustainable Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in Malaysia’s mining industry to ensure minimal environmental and social impacts from the industry.

zimage010EcoKnights and Waseda University at the headquarters of Spring Energy Sdn Bhd.

The visit started with a roundtable discussion at Spring Energy’s headquarter on 2nd March 2018, led by the Managing Director Dato’ Yap Soon Huat and Chief Mining Geologist Professor Teh Guan Hoe. The W-Bridge team was introduced to Spring Energy’s operations in quarrying, mining and road works. They further explained on their standard operating procedures in the bauxite mines in Kuantan and how their procedures are sustainable during the mining process as well as after the bauxite has been mined. The discussion is then followed by a Q&A session in which Spring Energy shared their opinions on their SOP and the bauxite mining pollution in Kuantan.

Roundtable discussion between EcoKnights, Waseda University and Spring Energy Sdn Bhd.Roundtable discussion between EcoKnights, Waseda University and Spring Energy Sdn Bhd.

The next day, the W-Bridge team was brought to a bauxite mine operated by Spring Energy Sdn Bhd in KotaSAS. Due to the moratorium, the mining operation was put to a stop, hence Spring Energy is now carrying out the rehabilitation stage of the bauxite mine before the area goes through development.

A visit to Spring Energy's bauxite mine in KotaSASA visit to Spring Energy's bauxite mine in KotaSAS

The team was briefed at the branch office about the layout of the mine and the route of the visit to see the various stages of mining. The mine visit was also joined by several Spring Energy staff consisting of geologists, engineers and the manager of the mine as these experts could further enhance the team’s understanding about the sustainable mining procedure practiced by the company. The highlight of the visit is the observation of the treatment ponds and proper drainage system used during the rehabilitation of the mining area. It was also observed that vegetation is planted in areas after mining to mitigate the impact.

Treatment ponds as part of the mine rehabilitation process.Treatment ponds as part of the mine rehabilitation process.

A visit to the showroom gallery of KotaSAS project.A visit to the showroom gallery of KotaSAS project.

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The mine visit included observation of development projects after rehabilitation process and the initial state of bauxite mining.The mine visit included observation of development projects after rehabilitation process and the initial state of bauxite mining.

The difference between clay (left) and bauxite (right) can be determined by its texture, colour and the plants' roots growing through the layer of clay and stopping at the bauxite layer.The difference between clay (left) and bauxite (right) can be determined by its texture, colour and the plants' roots growing through the layer of clay and stopping at the bauxite layer.

 

It can be summarized that Malaysia is fortunate to have companies such as Spring Energy Sdn Bhd championing sustainable practices in mining development, especially in the post-mining stage in which rehabilitation and treatment of mines take place to avoid detrimental environmental impacts. The SOP by Spring Energy can be an example to be considered and adopted by other mining companies. It is important for the mining industry players to open their doors to each other as well as to other stakeholders to foster a better understanding towards each other and their roles in managing a sustainable mining development.

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