Mining, oil & gas

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


NGOs are protesting against the decision by local government authorities in East Java to license gold-mining in an area which includes a national park as well as productive plantation and farmland owned by local people.

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


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.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000


The past months have seen unprecedented direct action by local people and mine workers protesting against injustice at Rio Tinto's PT KEM and Kaltim Prima mines.

In April and May this year, Rio Tinto's Kelian gold mine was forced to shut down after negotiations with local community representatives were broken off. Hundreds of Dayak villagers blockaded access to the mine, preventing supplies of lime (used to treat acid waste) and diesel fuel oil getting through to the mine site on the Kelian river.