Malaysian Mining Industry Is Getting a Second Wind

Twenty years after a glut in the global tin market sent the Malaysia mining industry into a freefall, the country’s miners are lobbying for a second chance — this time, with coal. Recently, prospectors in Malaysia found nearly 237 million tons of new coal reserves. That’s good news for the country’s economy, but bad news for the environment, since the reserves are in a pristine forest on Borneo. Mining representatives say they can get to the coal while protecting the forest (and its resident apes), and they’re meeting with the government this week to press the issue. In addition to coal, the industry would like to see Malaysia begin mining gold, copper, nickel, zircon, and kaolin.