KOTA KINABALU, Aug 6 (Bernama) -- A total of 378.08 kilogrammes of gold with a RM65,069,122.61 million market value have been extracted from the Bukit Mantri gold mine in Tawau up to July 24, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said.
He said with the state government fixing a five per cent royalty on the gold market, the gold mine operators have been charged RM3,253,456.19 in royalties, out of which RM1,335,697.39 have been paid.
“The remaining RM1,917,758.80 will be settled soon," he said at the 15th state assembly sitting here today when replying to Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan (STAR-Tambunan), who queried on the amount of production at the gold mine and revenues obtained so far.
“The state government also intends to review the five percent royalty rate and push it higher. For future gold mining plans, the state government has decided that mining lease will only be issued to state-owned companies.
Mohd Shafie said to date, the 946.1-hectare Bukit Mantri gold mine was the only one in Sabah, operating on a mineral lease grant issued in 2015.
“This mine began operations in 2018 after obtaining the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Operational Mining Scheme (OMS) approvals from the Sabah Department of Environment (DOE) and Minerals and Geoscience Department respectively.
Responding to an additional question from Datuk Joniston Bangkuai (PBS-Kiulu) who had asked for a guarantee that there will not be any coal mining operations in the biodiverse Maliau Basin, Mohd Shafie said the state government will not consider or approve an activity in the sensitive heritage site.