KOTA KINABALU: The state government provides a specially-built treatment pool to process the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) at the former site of Mamut Copper Mine in Ranau.
The state Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Masidi Manjun, said one of the artificial pool is built to neutralize the water in the mine’s open pit before it is deemed safe to enter the river system.
“AMD water in the former mine’s open pit has brought worry for the possibility of its wall to break and cause its water to burst out and harm the public,” he said during the state legislative assembly.
He was responding to the questions raised by Chan Foong Hin (DAP-Sri Tanjong) on the effects of the earthquake in Ranau to the water treatment pools for Mamut Copper Mine and the state government’s approach in ensuring no polluted water to break out from the open pit due to earthquake in the future.
Based on the information from the Department of Mineral and Geoscience, Masidi explained that the open pit’s wall structure which hold approximately 20.6 million cubic of AMD water is not affected by the quake.
According to him, the previous mining activities at the area which applied open pit method was carried out with a strict mining engineering practice that weigh in seismic factor and it was under the surveillance of the Department of Mineral and Geoscience.
The wall of the open pit is mainly granite, Masidi added, where it’s thick and sturdy structure enables it to withstand earthquakes below 8 magnitude on the Richter scale.
He also said the water pressure at the site is weakening where the water depth has dwindled from 100m to 80m.
Meanwhile, he said his ministry with the help of local experts and technical departments is finding a practical approach to manage the issue by considering other environmental and financial concerns.
Other suggestions being considered include the option to fill up the open pit to prevent it from catching more AMD water in the future. – SayangSabah