Tag Archives: illegal exploration

Papuan Governor to Revoke 50 Logging, Mining and Plantation Permits

October 22, 2013

Around 50-60 permits for forest management, mining and even plantations which were issued by Papua’s two caretaker governors over the last two years are going to be revoked. “A caretaker governor does not have the authority to issue permits, their duty is only to prepare local elections to choose the definitive governor,” said Lukas Enembe, the Governor of Papua Province, on Friday 11th October 2013.

The election for the Governor of Papua Province was delayed for two years and during that time 60 forestry, mining and plantation companies received permits to start operations in Papua.

“In the end monopolies have arisen over natural resources, land and forests. The mechanism must be regulated so that no one company or corporate group has a monopoly. A caretaker does not have the right to do this., and so they have contravened the law. I have signed a document meaning that those companies can no longer operate in Papua.”

Last August, Enembe wrote to the Forestry Ministry calling for a halt to 13 of the 25 timber utilization permits from natural forests (IUPHHK-HA) that are currently in force in Papua , covering an area of 2,083,091 hectares.

The Governor will also evaluate 42 gold mining companies in Degeuwo, all of which are illegal. “Really we should already have intervened in this area. Although the Governor ha previously issued an instruction to shut the mines, but the regency governments haven’t carried it out. What’s going on there?” asked the Secretary of the Papuan Provincial Mining and Energy Agency, Fred Boray.

The Degeuwo mining area, which was first opened in 2002, is located across four government districts: Nabire, Paniai, Intan Jaya and Deiyai Regencies. There are currently 42 companies operating, but only six have permits.

Papua province covers an area of around 32,757,948 hectares, of which 31,738,931 hectares (97.89%) is land area. Land classified as production forest or limited production forest is around 10,700,567 hectares, and timber utilization permits have been issued for 4,989,783 hectares.

The governor has requested Regency leaders (bupatis) not to issue permits that will result in forest destruction. The reason is that damage to the forest will not bring any positive contribution to people’s lives. “For example, the oil palm plantations in Keerom Regency that are no longer productive. Because of that, I ask all the bupatis not to give out permits too freely, they should look at the seriousness of the investor,” said Enembe.

(translated by AwasMifee)

[awasMIFEE note: no info as yet which of the plantation permits are likely to be cancelled as a result of this decision. It is not expected that any of the MIFEE plantations will be affected. On the other hand, in Nabire, leader of the Yerisiam Tribe, Simon Petrus Hanebora welcomed the news, hoping that it would mean that PT Nabire Baru and PT Sariwana Unggul Mandiri would have their permits revoked. The two companies have been accused of illegally clearing the Yerisiam people’s ancestral land.]

FREEPORT’S IPPKH DOES NOT BENEFIT PAPUAN PEOPLE

FREEPORT‘S IPPKH  DOES NOT BENEFIT PAPUAN PEOPLE

The deputy chairman of Commission IV of the Indonesian parliament, Firman Soebagyo, said that Freeport’s IPPKH (Forestry Area Use loan) has done nothing to improve conditions for the local communities and the company has failed to involve local human resources and the economic community in general in the areas, with the people continuing to be very poor.

The environmental impact has led to the loss of vegetation and biodiversity in the protected forestry areas that have been exploited. ‘The quality of the water has deteriorated and the environment and mangrove forests have been damaged downstream of the river.’

He said that as a member of Commission IV, he was very concerned  about Freeeport’s IIPKH license which has caused problems for local development and the welfare of the local communities. He quoted forestry ministry data that indicated that Freeport was one of thirteen companies exploiting forestry areas which includes 10,000 ha in Mimika and another 202,980 ha in Mimika, Paniai and Jayawjaya.

JUBI reported that members of the commission had gained access to data that Freeport does not have license to operate in protected forests from the forestry ministry as required under Law 41/1999. The company has been  operating in Papua since 1967 which means that the world’s biggest mining company has not been paying  the required taxes known as Non-Tax Levies to the State (PNBP) as a result of which the country has suffered the loss of tens of billions of rupiahs. The company has ignored two requests regarding this license.

Firman also said while Freeport contributes Rp.400 billion annually to the local people, the facts on the ground show that the local people are still suffering, while children are unable to get a decent education. He said that with the seas having been turned into dry land because of the impact of the tailings, Freeport should be held accountable for damaging the biodiversity and destroying people’s livelihoods. He would therefore recommend that the government should stop issuing any more licenses to the company.

Freeport looking for more minerals to extract from Papua

Grasberg mine
Image via Wikipedia
JUBI, 21 June 2011
A crater that is many metres wide and as deep as a three-storey house is to be found at Mile Post 74 within the area of the mining concession of Freeport-Indonesia(PTFI). Thousands of people working for Freeport say that they know nothing about the mining potential of this deep crater and what exactly Freeport intends to mine there.Some of the workers are quoted as saying: ‘The company is concealing information about the minerals it plans to mine. Some have mentioned copper but more recently mention has been made of gold, silver, iron,  and other minerals about which nothing has been reported officially.’ The workers believe that as many as nine new minerals are going to be mined there.As regards the natural resources now being researched, the crater is said to be much greater than the one dug for the Grasberg mine to the north.

One worker said that it is not only a question of nine more minerals being exploited by Freeport. As regards the geo-science potential from Papua, most of the minerals will be taken abroad. One worker who is familiar with the minerals in Grasberg said that it is only if the minerals are processed here and not taken abroad that we will be able to know what Freeport it intending to extract. ‘It is likely that the stuff will be taken abroad through pipes so that no one here knows what is there.

Another report from JUBI of the same day says that foreign investors are busy investigating what more they can take away from Papua. Freeport undertook a major research a while ago near Kampung Ugimba.

‘People from the company who work in Tembagapura have been seen frequently coming and going, and we have been told that there is uranium there.’

JUBI has been told that aerial surveying – aerogeophysics -has been used to survey the mineral  potential.

They have been using helicopters  to assess the uranium potential, he said. Once this has been ascertained, more conventional techniques will be used.

As yet, Freeport has said nothing about these searches. But for sure, the company has been undertaking many surveys in various parts of Papua.

(West Papua Media Comment:  At this time of great market uncertainty about uranium and the safety of nuclear power following the still ongoing Fukushima reactor disaster in Japan, it beggars belief that Freeport and its main shareholder, Rio Tinto, are conducting illegal (uncontracted) exploration for potential uranium deposits (of which there are large amounts around the Grasberg complex).  It is also very curious that this is the exact area that the unsolved shootings and bombings of Freeport workers has been occuring over the past two years, yet in an “unsecured” environment this exploration and processing has been able to occur.  If the Indonesian civilian government were to set up a National Audit of all Freeport activities, they would see clearly that the military-corporate collusion is reaping massive financial benefits, just not for either West Papua, nor Indonesian people.)