Down to Earth No. 49, May 2001

Special autonomy delayed...

The May 1st deadline for passing laws on ‘special autonomy’ for Aceh and West Papua is being postponed. Home affairs minister Surjadi Sudirdja, who announced the decision in late April, did not set a new deadline for passing the laws. According to the Indonesian Observer, the two separate bills propose that Aceh and West Papua be given 80% of revenues from natural resources.

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

Indigenous people living on ancestral lands in Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park, Southeast Sulawesi, were forcibly evicted from their homes in November by a security team including police and military personnel.

July / November 2000

This is the short version of a paper prepared by Nostromo Research for Down to Earth and Minewatch Asia-Pacific, July 2000, revised November 2000.

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.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

The Central Sulawesi chapter of environmental organisation WALHI has been making the case against gold-mining by PT Citra Palu Minerals in the Poboya-Paneki area of East Palu sub-district, Central Sulawesi. The company has been exploring for gold in the area for the past 3-4 years. The area is a Taman Raya Hutan - a forest park - designed for conservation and watershed protection. Open-pit mining is illegal in protected forests.