Mining, oil & gas

Down to Earth No. 48, February 2001

As huge oil and gas developments continue in Indonesia, communities in areas where these industries operate are becoming more vocal in demanding a stop to pollution and fair compensation.

Communities in Riau, East Kalimantan, Aceh, and Java are engaged in an unequal struggle with some of the world's most powerful transnational companies.

Down to Earth No. 48 February 2001

For the Muluy Dayak community in East Kalimantan, small-scale gold mining is part of their traditional way of life. adat (customary law) governs their gold-panning activities, practised using simple equipment made from materials collected in the surrounding forests. But this integral part of Muluy livelihood is now under threat. Mining company surveyors have recently shown interest in the community's gold mining area.

Down to Earth No. 48 February 2001

US-based mining giant Newmont has launched an aggressive attack on environmental group WALHI, over accusations of damage to human health at the company's gold mine at Ratatotok, North Sulawesi.

In January WALHI announced the results of blood tests on 20 people living at Buyat Bay, near PT Newmont Minahasa Raya's mine. The people had all complained of deteriorating health during the past three years. Blood samples, taken by WALHI North Sulawesi and JATAM and analysed in a US laboratory, showed high levels of arsenic and mercury.

Down to Earth No. 48 February 2001

PT Aneka Tambang, part-owned by the Indonesian state, has appointed Tessag Ina GmbH as its contractor to build and finance its planned new ferro-nickel plant in Pomalaa, Southeast Sulawesi. Two other ferro-nickel smelters are already in operation there. Construction of the 13,000 tonnes per year facility is expected to start in the first half of 2001 and it is scheduled to start production just over two years later. Financing is expected to come partially from Germany's IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG.

Down to Earth No 48 February 2001

CIFOR researcher's body found in Aceh mass grave

A mass grave, containing 14 bodies was uncovered in Terbangan, Kluet Selatan, South Aceh in January. One has been identified as a researcher with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Bandung.

Three young researchers from CIFOR and a member of the Gunung Leuser national park management, disappeared in September 1999. The corpses of three women from Medan in neighbouring North Sumatra province were also found in the grave.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

There has been further conflict at indigenous mining lands inside the PT Indo Muro Kencana gold concession operated by Australia's Aurora Gold in Central Kalimantan.

Families from the local Dayak Siang, Murung and Bekumpai communities were hauled out of their beds and forced onto trucks by heavily armed mobile brigade police forces early on June 7th. Their possessions were thrown on the ground, their homes were then torn down and fifteen people were arrested.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

Newmont, the US-based mining company, has again come under fire at both its operations in Indonesia.

In North Sulawesi PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (80% owned by US mining giant Newmont) was forced to shut down operations at its Ratatotok gold mine three times in as many months. Former land-owners mounted a series of blockades an demanded compensation for land taken over by the company.