On March 31, when a ban on bauxite mining was imminent, Malaysia announced that all bauxite producers would have to conduct an environmental impact assessment if they were to re-license their production.
Although no indication of when the EIA will begin, Malaysia's Ministry of Resources said Wednesday that each bauxite mine will have at least half a year to complete.
According to the analysis, Malaysian bauxite exports resumed later than expected to affect global supply, raising market prices.
Malaysian resource minister Savile Hayakumar (Xavier Jayakumar) said in an interview that even if the ban on production and export of bauxite ends at the end of this month, mining companies will not be able to start production immediately on April 1. Mining enterprises must complete environmental assessment in strict accordance with the relevant regulations in order to obtain a production license.
Malaysia once became one of the largest exporters of bauxite, with monthly bauxite exports reaching up to 3.5 million tonnes at the end of 2015. But in early 2016, all bauxite production was banned after a bauxite mine contaminated water in the eastern Malaysian state of Pungheng.
In February, Saville announced that the Malaysian government would not extend the ban because of strong bauxite demand. However, bauxite production must be strictly regulated, including the use of special trucks to transport. At the same time, mining companies are not allowed to export raw mineral products.