Malaysia’s mineral resource industry consists of a sector of coal, ferrous and nonferrous metals mining, a sector of ferrous and nonferrous metals processing, and a sector of industrial minerals extraction and processing. Most mining and mineral-processing businesses incorporated in Malaysia are privately owned or a joint venture with State-owned company.
production of tin-in-concentrates during the year under review is
estimated to have increased further. Production in 2012 is estimated at
3,664 tonnes or 9.7% increase from 3,340 tonnes in 2011. The tin
mines in production during the year are located primarily in Perak,
Terengganu, Johor, Selangor and Pahang.
Imports of tin concentrates in 2012 is estimated to have increased to 15,262 tonnes from 12,589 tonnes in 2011. These concentrates imports were for smelting into refined tin metal at the country’s sole tin smelter located in Butterworth, Penang owned by Malaysia Smelting Corporation Bhd (MSC). These concentrates were imported mainly from Indonesia, Australia, Vietnam and Africa. Meanwhile, Malaysia’s exports of refined tin metal in 2012 is estimated to have decreased to 37,191 tonnes from 42,302 tonnes in 2011. They were exported primarily to Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore.
Bauxite is still being produced in Malaysia but in a rather small quantity from one mine located in Johore. Production of bauxite in 2012 is estimated at 117,232 tonnes, a decrease of 38% from 188,141 tonnes produced in 2011. All of the bauxite produced were exported to Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. The remaining ore reserves of the bauxite mine is small. However, there are potential resources of bauxite in the other states of Malaysia, namely Sabah and Sarawak.
Gold production in Malaysia comes mainly from the Central Main Range region of Peninsular Malaysia covering the states of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. Production of the precious metal in 2012 is estimated to have increased by 8% to ,550 kgs from 4,219 kgs in 2011. There were 15 active gold mines operating during the year under review with the major gold roducers being the Penjom Gold Mine and the Selinsing Gold Mine located in Kuala Lipis, Pahang and the Raub Australian Gold Mine located in Raub, Pahang.
Most of the major operating gold mines are joint-ventures between local and foreign interests. According to the JMG, there are prospective gold deposits in several other states, such as Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak.
Malaysia today has no primary ilmenite mine. All of its high grade reserves have exhausted. The country’s present production of ilmenite comes mainly from the processing of ‘amang’ from alluvial tin by amang retreatment plants located in Perak and Selangor. Production of ilmenite in 2012 is estimated to have decreased to 21,643 tonnes from 28,782 tonnes in 2011.
There were some 98 iron ore mines operating throughout the country during the year under review. Most of them were small mines with low grade deposits located in the states of Pahang, Terengganu, Johore, Perak, Kelantan, Kedah and Malacca. Iron ore production in 2012 is estimated to have totalled some 10,077,136 tonnes an increase of 25% from 8,077,879 tonnes produced in 2011.
Most of the ore were exported to China and India and some consumed locally by the cement, pipe coating and, iron and steel plants. Iron ore in the form of lumps and pellets are imported for the manufacturing needs of Malaysia’s steel industry. They are sourced mainly from Brazil, Chile and Bahrain.
Aggregates produced in Malaysia are obtained from two primary sources, namely quarries and river beds. They consist mainly of granite and limestone rock types, and are abundant throughout the states of Perak, Selangor, Johore, Sabah and Sarawak. Production of aggregates in 2012 is estimated to have increased to 122.,000,000 tonnes from 118,509,699 tonnes produced in 2011.
Malaysia has abundant clay resources. They include common clay, ball clay, fire clay, shale, laterite and red earth. These clays are mainly used in producing bricks, ceramic wares, cement and also for landfill. Clay deposits are located in the states of Pahang, Selangor, Terengganu, Kelantan, Perak, Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Negeri Sembilan, Johore and Sarawak. Production of clays in 2012 is estimated to have increased to 29,000,000 tonnes from 28,383,719 tonnes in 2011.
Resources of feldspar are fairly limited in Malaysia. The available resources are located mainly in the states of Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Johore, Kedah, Pahang and Kelantan. There are several types of feldspar but only potassium and sodium feldspar have economic value. They are used primarily in the production of glass, ceramics and mild abrasives. Production in 2012 is estimated to have decreased to 350,000 tonnes from 379,629 tonnes produced in 2011. There were 3 mines located in Kelantan producing feldspar during the year.
Sizeable reserves of kaolin are found throughout Malaysia. According to the JMG, the country has some 112 million tonnes of kaolin reserves located in the states of Perak, Johore, Kelantan, Selangor, Pahang and Sarawak. There were some 17 active kaolin mines operating during the year mostly located in the Bidor/Tapah district in Perak. Production of kaolin in 2012 is estimated to have decreased to 390,000 tonnes from 442,550 tonnes in 2011. Kaolin is used primarily as paper coatings and fillers, and in the manufacturing of ceramics, paints, rubber, plastics and chemical products.
Reserves of limestone in Malaysia are fairly abundant. According to the JMG, there are some 12,000 million tonnes of limestone reserves located throughout the states of Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak. Production of limestone in 2012 is estimated to have increased to 36,000,000 tonnes from 21,832,159 tonnes produced in 2011. They are used in the manufacture of cement, and also for producing marble dimension stone and other limestone based products.
The mica produced in Malaysia generally comes in the form of flake mica of the muscovite type. The crude fine flakes are recovered from schistose rocks by screening according to the required grain size, either by wet or dry process. They are then further processed to various sizes of ground mica powder. Mica is used in industrial applications such as paints and in cosmetic applications, mould lubricant in the rubber industry, fluxing agent in welding electrodes and reinforcement in plastics.
The production of mica in 2012 is estimated to have decreased to 4,000 tonnes from 4,245 tonnes produced in 2011. There were only 2 mica producers located in Bidor, Perak operating on ex-tin mining land during the year. Most of these mica were exported to Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea.
Malaysia has abundant sand and gravel resources. They are important raw materials for the construction and infrastructure industries. They are derived mainly from rivers, alluvium, offshore areas and mine tailings located throughout the states of Perak, Kedah, Johore, Selangor and Sarawak. Production in 2012 is estimated to have increased to 40,000,000 tonnes from 37,339,082 tonnes produced in 2011.
Malaysia also has substantial silica-sand resources. They are found throughout Malaysia comprising largely of natural sand deposits and ex-tin mine tailings. The JMG has estimated that there are some 148.4 million tonnes of silica-sand reserves located in the states of Johor, Perak, Terengganu, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak. Production in 2012 is estimated to have decreased to 950,000 tonnes from 1,340,013 tonnes produced in 2011. They came from several sand mining operations in Johore, Perak and Sarawak. Most of the silica-sand are used in the manufacturing of glass products, and to a lesser extent in producing ceramics, foundries, glasswool and water treatment materials.
to the JMG, Malaysia has fairly substantial coal resources located in
the states of Selangor, Perak Perlis, Sarawak and Sabah. The country's
coal resources are estimated at some 1,724 million tonnes of which 274
million tonnes are measured, 347 million tonnes indicated and the
balance of 1,102 million tonnes as inferred. Some 80% of these resources
are located in Sarawak, 19% in Sabah and 1% in Peninsular Malaysia. The
largest reserves of coal are located in Merit Pila, Sarawak and Maliau
and Malibau, Sabah. Output in 2012 is estimated to have increased to
2.948,191 tonnes from 2.915,788 tonnes produced in 2011. They were
produced primarily from 7 mines located in Sarawak.
for coal has been on the increase over the past several years. Most of
these demand are satisfied through imports from Indonesia, Australia and
China. Their major consumers are the power generation and cement
plants, and to a lesser extent the iron and steel plants. Coal is one of
Malaysia's current domestic energy mix under it's Five-Fuel Policy
comprising oil, gas, hydro power, coal and renewable energy.
Department of Mineral and Geoscience, Malaysia.
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