Adi Ahdiat, Jakarta – The Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) says that there are some 94 open pits on former mining sites which have yet to be restored or rehabilitated in East Kalimantan – the area earmarked for the construction of the country’s new capital city.
As many as 50 of these pits are on sites owned by Coordinating Minister for Investment and Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
The companies owned by Pandjaitan have left scores of mining pits in Muara Jawa sub-district, which will become the third ring of the new capital city.
“Companies own by Luhut have left behind 50 gaping mine pits and are expected to benefit by having their ‘sins cleansed’ of the obligation to reclaim the sites [by the construction of the new capital]”, wrote Jatim in a report titled Who is the New Capital City For?, which was released in December 2019.
Who is the New Capital City For? was published by Jatim along with the Jatim East Kalimantan chapter, Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI), the Samarinda based Working Group 30 (Pokja 30), the Coastal and Fisher Working Group (Pokja Pesisir dan Nelayan), Trend Asia, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) and Walhi East Kalimantan.
Aside from companies owned by Pandjaitan, the report also cites several other companies that have left large numbers of open mining pits in the area of the new capital.
They include PT Singlurus Pratama with 22 holes, Perdana Maju Utama with 16 holes, Hardiyatul Isyal with 10 holes, PT Palawan Investama with 9 holes and CV Amindo Pratama with 8 holes.
There should be sanctions
Bearing in mind Government Regulation Number 78/2010, companies are obliged to reclaim and restore abandoned mining pits within 30 days at the latest after mining activities have ceased.
Companies that do not fulfill this obligation are subject to administrative sanctions in the form of a written warning, a temporary suspension of activities and having their business license revoked.
The regulation also states that incurring such sanctions does not abrogate the company’s obligation to reclaim and restore the former mining site.
To this day however, the government’s resoluteness in upholding this regulation has yet to be clearly demonstrated.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “JATAM: Perusahaan Menko Luhut Tinggalkan 50 Lubang Tambang di Ibu Kota Baru”.]