German company to build nickel smelter

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. Aneka Tambang anticipates that the estimated US $220 million project will be financed 70% by loans and 30% by equity. (Mining Journal 8&15/Dec/00)



People living near the Pomalaa site at Desa Tambea are concerned about pollution from the mine which, they say, is affecting their farming and fishing livelihoods. PT Aneka Tambang denies any pollution, blaming the problem on the practice of using explosives to catch fish ("fish-bombing") and other materials that damage the environment. The company claims that it would not have gained international respect for its environmental record if the accusations were true.

But local people insist that the mining operation is at fault. One sea cucumber farmer said his harvest had declined because of the mine. Villagers believe that 120 hectares of mangroves planted by the community ten years ago have failed because of pollution. Local people are now demanding that the company stop operations around the village and pay compensation for the damage. They have submitted these demands to the district assembly in Kolaka. (Kolaka Ekspres [no date] via Suluh Indonesia)