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UMNO Online - Revival Of Iron Ore Mining In <b>Bukit Besi</b> Expected To <b>...</b>

Posted: 17 Sep 2012 08:59 PM PDT

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Revival Of Iron Ore Mining In Bukit Besi Expected To Boost Terengganu's Economy

DUNGUN, Sept 18 – Bukit Besi in Terengganu, which used to be the largest producer of iron ore in Southeast Asia, has since become a dead town when mining activities ceased in 1971.

However, the Terengganu state government has plans to revive mining activities in the area, with the cooperation of Perwaja Holding Berhad (Perwaja).

On Sept 10, the media reported that Perwaja had a good chance of being awarded an iron ore mining concession in the area with Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said saying that the state government was prepared to consider the company's request to mine iron ore for use at its new factory in Kemaman.

"We are prepared to work with Perwaja to produce and process iron ore with the condition that Perwaja meet the condition of employing 60 per cent locals.

"Based on studies, there are still about 50 million metric tonnes of high quality iron ore in the area," Ahmad was reported as saying on July 30 last year.

Bukit Besi State Assemblyman Datuk Din Adam when met by Bernama recently, expressed confidence that Bukit Besi can develop into a new growth centre in the state of Terengganu.

"What is needed is proper planning and cooperation from all quarters," he added.

He said with mining activities revived, it would help stimulate economic growth through the availability of jobs, including business opportunities, for the locals.

"It will also attract outsiders to the area and this will lead to provision of better housing for residents," he added.

Iron ore mining will not be the only activity that would wake up this town from its slumber, but also the East Coast Rail project that may be extended to Bukit Besi from its initial plan to connect Kuantan to Kertih.

Din said the rail project would help to overcome transportation problems in the area.

Other projects include Phase 2 of the east Coast Expressway project, which when completed, will link Bukit Besi to Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan and Kuala Lumpur, and the construction of a Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) campus.

"I'm made to understand that the federal government has given its approval for UiTM to build phase two and three of the project, involving an allocation of about RM300 million to build a campus that can accommodate up to 5,000 students.

"There'll be spillover effects from this project which will boost development in the area," he added.

He said the Central Terengganu Development Authority (Ketengah), the regional development authority responsible, should not look at the development potentials of Bukit Besi, but also nearby Simpang Seri Bangun.

Berita Bertarikh Pada 11:59 AM

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