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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook mineral industries of Asia and the Pacific 1992
Year 1992, Volume 3 (1992)

Wu, John C.
Malaysia,   pp. [248]-258 ff. PDF (2.7 MB)

Page 251

THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF MALAYSIA—1992  251build a 7,500-mt/a secondary
aluminum smelter in the State of Johore. A jointventure firm called Johore
Aluminium Processing Sdn. Bhd. was established to manage the project and
run the plant when the construction work is completed. Construction of the
$1 1 million smelter was scheduled to begin in early 1993 and was expected
to be completed in July 1993. KO will supply the technology and equipment
including a 6-ton converter and a 16-ton holding furnace. About 50 % of the
aluminum scrap feed for the smelter will be obtained locally and 50% will
be met by imports mainly from Japan and Singapore. The joint venture is 35%
owned by JSEDC; 27.5 % each by KO and Finfund (the Finnish Government's Industrial
Development Corp.); and 5% each by Nakadaya Co. of Japan and Celtrad Metal
Industries of Singapore.3 
 Copper.—Production of copper concentrate from the Mamut Mine in
increased by 13 .5 % to 111,593 tons, when more ore was mined and ~ milled
in 1992. Copper recovery rate averaged about 86 % in 1992. Exports of ~ copper
concentrate, all to Japan, totaled ~ 101,532 tons and were valued at $65.2
million in 1992. The average content of ~ copper in the concentrate was 25.6
% in 1992 compared with 26.0% in 1991. The content of gold and silver in
the concentrate was 19.85 g/mt and 135.10 g/mt, respectively, in 1992 compared
with 16.4 grams per ton and 134.98 grams per ton, respectively, in 1991.
The metal content of copper, gold, and silver in the concentrate was 28,556
tons, 2,214.9 kg, and 15,075.7 kg, respectively, in 1992. In 1992, the Government
of Sabah reportedly ordered the Mamut Mine to pay $4.7 million in compensation
for crop damages caused by mine effluent. 
 An application for development of the porphyry-type copper deposits at the
West-Sualog and at the Kiabau deposits in the Bidu-Bidu Hill area reportedly
was submitted to the Department of the Environment in 1992. According to
the Geological Survey of Malaysia, the indicated ore reserves based on drilling
by Leadstar Co. in the late 1980's were: 
at the West-Sualog deposit about 2 Mmt, averaging 3 .6 % copper plus gold
and silver averaging 2.5 g/mt of ore and 8 g/mt of ore, respectively; and
at the Kiabau deposit about 2.5 Mmt, averaging 1.6% copper.4 
 Gold.—Gold production increased considerably in 1992 due mainly
increased production as a byproduct from the Mamut copper mine in Sabah and
increased production from the Bukit Young gold mine in Sarawak. Of the total
gold produced in 1992, 63 % was from the Mamut copper mine in Sabah; 20 %
was from 10 to 20 small-scale mines ~ in the States of Kelantan, Pahang,
and ~ Negeri Sembilan; and 17 % from 2 to 5 primary gold mines in Sarawak.
 In mid-1992, Avocet Ventures of the United States announced that its British
subsidiary, Luckfrost Ltd. , had located gold mineralization in the Punjom
concession area in Pahang State of central peninsular Malaysia. Drilling
had resulted in finding a visible gold-bearing cross cutting quartz tension
vein averaging 67.4 g/mt of ore in its Hole 
12. Ore grade tests for the gold mineralization area reportedly ranged from
0.8 g/mt to 145.7 g/mt.5 
 PKB-MMC Sdn. Bhd. , a joint venture of Malaysia Mining Corp. (MMC) and Permodalan
Kelantan Bhd. , temporarily shut down its gold mining at Pulai in southern
Kelantan because of low recovery rates and depleting ore reserves. Tronoh
Mines Malaysia Bhd. , a 52. 3 % owned subsidiary of MMC, had deferred development
of its gold mine at Pergau in northwestern Kelantan because of low metal
prices. Equatorial Gold Ltd. of Australia reportedly also abandoned its gold
prospecting at Ulu Sokor in Kelantan due to low metal prices. 
 iron and Steel.—Iron ore production decreased; however, exports
iron ore rose sharply in 1992. According to the Malaysian Department of Mines,
exports of iron ore totaled 248,580 tons and were valued at $3.8 million
in 1992. In 1992, most iron ore was produced from seven to eight small deposits
located in the 
States of Perak, Kedah, Pahang, Johore, ~ and Terengganu. About 5,000 tons
of ~ iron ore was produced as a byproduct of tin mining in 1992. 
 Perwaja Terengganu Sbn. Bhd. (PTSB), the State-owned steel company, was
renovating the direct-reduced-iron (DRI) plant by building two HYL-IIIprocess
modules at its Telok Kalong site of the failed Japanese-designed DRI plant
in Kemaman, Terengganu. Construction work of the 1.2 Mmt DRI plant was expected
to be completed by the spring of 1993, and the startup date was set for mid-1993.
MAN Gutehoffnungshutte AG of Germany and Ferrostaal AG ofMexico were in charge
of plant supply and construction. 
 In October, three Malaysian major steel producers, Amalgamated Steel Mills
Bhd. (ASM), Malayawata Steel Bhd. (MS), and Southern Iron and Steel Works
(515W), jointly acquired from the Ministry of Finance the DRI plant operated
by Sabah Gas Industries Bhd. (SGI) for $33 million. In April, the Ministry
of Finance took over from the Sabah State Government the financially troubled
Sabah Gas Utilization Project, including a small powerplant, a methanol plant,
and a DRI plant on Labuan Island, off Sabah.6 To operate SGI's DRI plant,
a new firm called Steelcorp Sdn. Bhd. was established jointly by ASM holding
75% of SGI equity, MS, 15%; and 
515W, 10 % . Production of hotbriquetted iron by the DRI plant averaged about
620,000 tons annually. According to Steelcorp, SGI planned to sell 20% of
its output to the three steelmakers and export the remainder mainly to Southeast
 Rare Earths.—Crude rare earths had been produced by Asian Rare
Ltd. (ARE) near Bukit Merah, about 6 km 
~ southwest of Ipoh in Perak, since 1982. 
~ The plant processed monazite for the 
~ production of rare-earth chloride and 
~ rare-earth carbonate for export mainly to 
~ Japan and EC. In processing monazite to 
~ produce crude rare earths, the plant also produced a low-level radioactive
thorium hydroxide as byproduct. In October 1985, nearby Bukit Merah residents

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