WALHI opposes PT CPM

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. See Mining in Protected Forests.

WALHI says that the exploration work has already had a negative impact on local communities whose water supplies have been tainted. WALHI fears that full-scale mining will affect the water used by local people as well as by the residents of Palu city downstream. Opening a mine would also deprive local people of forest resources such as timber, rattan and resins, affect fish stocks in the rivers and threaten the local customary (adat) way of life.

WALHI have complained about the difficulty of getting information from the local government about the project. The group has also expressed dismay at Rio Tinto, who they say are carrying out survey work in Morowali nature reserve. ( Source: WALHI Sulteng notes of meeting with local forestry and mining office in June 2000. For more on Morowali see DTE 32:8)