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Short video clip on the impact of a nickel mine in Tanjung Buli, Indonesia

Tony Whitten's picture

On the trip back to the base of PT Weda Bay Nickel after our two days in the Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park, we flew over the operating nickel mine at Tanjung Buli owned by publicly listed PT Aneka Tambang, but which has been operated since the opening in 2001 by a subcontractor.

What we saw seemed to be oil discharges just offshore, notable soil erosion in the coastal zone below the mine site, streams of mud coursing down the slopes, all with no apparent mitigation structures in place (see below for a short video). Such high levels of runoff have apparently been noticed before (see version translated to English by Google). When we were back in the North Maluku provincial capital of Ternate, we met with the Head of the Provincial Environment Impact Assessment Agency (BAPEDALDA) and showed him this short film. He and his staff were very concerned and explained that they had more than 100 mines in the province to attend to and felt that having this film available on the internet might make their work easier.

Comments

Submitted by S. Bellows on
Sir, I want to thank you for recording and showing the video from the mine; your professional values are to be lauded. The BAPEDALDA Head is quite correct: posting this kind of video in internet should help their work in protecting the environment of the province. Local BAPEDAL offices at the provincial or district levels often do not have a staff large enough to deal in a consistently effective manner with the number of mines in the area under their care. PT Aneka Tambang [Antam] Tbk, is now a limited liability corporation, 65% of which is currently held by the Indonesian government. Antam holds a protected interest of 10% in the Weda Bay nickel project.

Hi, the statement above is not correct: MIGA has been asked to provide insurance support not for the mining project itself at this point, but rather for pre-project feasibility work. This feasibility studies will include assessments such as what the impact would be on forest resources and the natural environment, including what might be done to limit or mitigate such impacts. In fact, MIGA is holding consultations in Jakarta next week with various NGOs to discuss this plan. MIGA also posted in late April the Environmental and Social Review Summary for the project on its web site, and readers are encouraged to see it, please find it here: http://www.miga.org/news/index_sv.cfm?aid=2615 Cheers, -- Claudia (blog admin)

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