Deputy Premier: Canadian co confirms presence of gold deposits underground in Bau, Sri Aman

Awang Tengah speaking to the media after officiating at the Qurban ceremony at Surau Wakaf in Taman Indah, Bandar Baru Samariang on June 17, 2024. Photo credit: TVS/Mohd Raffiq

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, June 18: A Canadian company conducting research has discovered gold deposits underground in Bau and some areas in Sri Aman.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, in revealing this, pointed out that Sarawak is known to be rich in gold in Bau with gold mining operations starting in 1800 but ceasing by 1997.


“But now, there is a company from Canada conducting research which has found that there is still gold underground in Bau and some areas in Sri Aman,” he said in a recorded interview after officiating at the Qurban ceremony held at Surau Wakaf in Taman Indah, Bandar Baru Samariang yesterday (June 17).

Awang Tengah, who recently returned from a week-long benchmarking visit to Canada, stated that the visit was aimed at gaining insights into Canada’s sustainable mining development practices as Sarawak seeks to further explore and advance the region’s mining industry, apart from oil and gas, to benefit the local economy and population.

He highlighted that based on the records from the Department of Minerals and Geosciences, Sarawak is estimated to possess high value mineral resources worth more than RM1.25 trillion.

These precious mineral resources, including gold, limestone, non-radioactive rare earth elements (NR-REE), high quality silica sand and bauxite, are deposited across an area of approximately 39,824 square kilometres or 3,982,400 hectares, accounting for 32 per cent of the 12.4 million hectares of total land mass in Sarawak, mainly in the southern part.

“Sarawak has huge potential and the estimated high value of the mineral resources allows Sarawak to potentially invest in the mining industry, which could yield multiple economic returns.

“That is why the mineral mining sector is a focus of the Post-Covid Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030), though it is not yet fully developed, and thorough surveys and studies are still being conducted,” Awang Tengah said.

Noting that current surveys by the department covered only about 32 per cent of Sarawak’s total land area, he affirmed that geomapping would be expanded to another 30 per cent of the land area, if not the entire land mass of Sarawak.

Awang Tengah pointed out that mining is a significant economic sector in Canada, contributing no less than 20 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and providing numerous job opportunities, thus impacting community socioeconomics.

“They (Canada) are successful not only in the upstream and midstream sectors, but also at the downstream level.

“That’s why we conducted a benchmarking visit (to Canada). Sarawak has its own mineral ordinance, mining ordinance and environmental ordinance. We want to look at if there are necessities to improve the law to further develop the mineral sector here,” he said.

He added that the visit also look at efficient management and operations, advanced technological practices, and research and development (R&D) to add value to the products of Canada’s mining sector. — DayakDaily