A ban on Indonesian metal ore exports and the weaker ringgit and expanded alumina refinery capacity in China has led to a surge in Malaysian bauxite exports.
The Indonesian ban was to encourage the construction of local smelters.
To make up for the global shortfall in supply, Malaysia’s shipments of bauxite to China have surged – with alarming results. It is a case of making hay while the sun shines (except I am not sure how brightly the sun is shining over those mines).
Check out the red spots in the map below:
I feel sorry for the residents of Kuantan and Pahang in general who have had to endure the environmental consequences of rare earth refining, gold mining and now the rust brown dust from bauxite mining.
Bauxite reportedly contains traces of arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, thorium and uranium, the last two naturally occurring radioactive material.
Is this the price of ‘development’?