The issue of limestone hill blasting caused by the quarrying industry which is said to be intruding a geopark area received attention from the state government.
According to the Menteri Besar of Perak, Dato’ Saarani Mohamad, quarrying activities at Gunung Terundum, Gunung Rapat and Gunung Lanno were gazetted as the Mineral/Rock Basic Industry Economic Zone under the Batu Gajah District Council (MDBG) Local Plan 2025.
“The three aren’t listed among geosites of the Kinta Valley Geopark, where there are 18 which aren’t located within proximity of quarrying activity zones in the Mineral/Rock Basic Industry Economic Zone.
“A large part of caves situated at the three limestone hills are under the ownership of quarrying operators. Most quarries in Perak are leased to private companies and they’ve been operating for around 50 years now.
“However, this industry is always monitored by responsible agencies such as the Perak Land and Mines Office (PTG), Department of Mineral and Geoscience (JMG), Environmental Department (JAS), Public Works Department (JKR), Department of Occupational Safety and Health (JKKP), Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and MDBG.”
He explained so in a media statement released yesterday (February 8).
Operations of the quarrying industry in Perak are subject to the Mineral Development Act 1994; Minerals (Perak) Enactment 2003 (EMP); Minerals (Perak) Regulations 2008; Land and Mines Office Special Circular No.3/2017; and Environmental Quality Act 1974.
Quarry owners are required to submit an environmental impact assessment (EIA) when they wish to run quarrying activities. Failure to comply with any of the EIA conditions may result in a fine of up to RM100,000 or imprisonment of up to five years or both, as listed under Section 34A of the Environmental Quality Act.
In the circumstance where owners fail to comply with any mineral tenement conditions, they may be fined a maximum RM100,000 or jailed for up to five years or both, as listed under Section 159 of the Environment Management Plan.