Mining, oil & gas

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.

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.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

Natural resources are one of the main factors underlying the independence struggle in Aceh, but decades of plunder have left them severely depleted.

The brutal murder of the internationally known Acehnese human rights activist, Jafar Siddiq Hamzah, reminded the world in September that the northern-most tip of Sumatra remains a dangerous place. Despite a 'humanitarian pause' signed by Indonesia and Acehnese independence leaders in June this year, the murders, disappearances and torture have continued.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

Twenty three people were injured when police moved in to break up a protest blockade at Unocal's oil and gas terminal in East Kalimantan.

Seven protesters were injured by bullet wounds and a further sixteen were seriously injured when beaten and kicked by police, who broke up the protest on October 8th.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

A series of official investigations into Freeport Indonesia, operators of the huge Grasberg gold and copper mine in West Papua, has done nothing as yet to curb the excessive environmental damage caused by the company.