Sarawak to look into exploiting non-oil and gas mineral resources

Abang Johari (second right) autographs the PCDS 2030 books following its launching today. Also seen are (from left) Dr Sim and Awang Tengah.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, July 22: Sarawak will study the exploration of other mineral resources such as silica sand, rare earth elements (REE) and kaolin clay in order to further develop high-value downstream activities in the mining sector.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that the State will develop geological mapping to support the development of the mining sector under the newly unveiled Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 plan.

“The geological mapping is to provide details such as location, reserve volume and grades of the minerals and design business models to facilitate investments in the mining industry and downstream processing.

“The mining sector in Sarawak is currently driven by oil and gas upstream activities, which provide the feedstock for the petrochemical industry especially in Bintulu,” he said when launching the PCDS 2030 plan in conjunction with Sarawak Day at a hotel here today.

The mining sector has been identified as one of six economic sectors to serve as main engines of growth in accelerating the State’s economic development in the next ten years which will steer Sarawak towards becoming a developed and advanced State by 2030.

Apart from mining, Abang Johari added focus will also be given to the manufacturing sector with initiatives including the development of a petrochemical hub, and extension of Samajaya Hi-Tech Park, Bio-Industrial Park and Furniture Park.

“The aim is to promote Sarawak as the preferred investment destination especially for high-value downstream activities of resource and non-resource based industries, both DDI (domestic direct investment) and FDI (foreign direct investment).

“This will be supported by the development of an efficient ecosystem for private investment such as industrial parks equipped with industrial infrastructures and amenities,” he said.

At the same time, Abang Johari pointed out that more entrepreneurship programmes involving local business communities will be implemented to increase community participation especially among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

With the PCDS 2030 placing importance on environmental sustainability in its recovery efforts and long-term economic growth, he is confident that this will pave the way for more investment inflow into Sarawak that will co-create solutions, more green jobs and business opportunities to drive the State’s economy in a sustainable manner.

Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian as well as State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, federal ministers and assistant ministers were among those present. — DayakDaily