Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Observing Kompas news Concerning Coal Mining Activities in Kalimantan

I read in the Kompas Newspapers, the Indonesian Daily Newspaper 25 January 2010, Kompas had made some observations on the Coal Mining in East Kalimantan which according to Kompas is  annoying,   since the Mining Practice is not conducted properly. Kompas had made such observation in East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan, where according to such news paper the Massive Mining activities are  not -controlled.

According to Kompas Newspaper, the Taman Hutan Raya Bukit Soeharto (TAHURA - Forestry Park Mount Suharto) at Kaltim (East Kalimantan) and Forestry Protection Mount Meratus at East Kalimantan which is suppossed to be protected is not avoided from Coal Mining Operations.    

Kompas further said that at TAHURA, the land which are developed is actually part of the Center Research Tropical Forest University Mulawarman, Samarinda having the area of 40 Hectare.  The Developer /Management of PPHT according to Kompas Newspaper,  has no power since the Mining Permit is issued by  The Forestry Minister, with the reason that before the Decision of determining the border of the TAHURA by the Minister Decision No. 577 Year 2009, such location is located outside such Forestry Protection/ Conservation Area.    

One interesting news, shown in Kompas Newspaper is that 2 Contractors who are  supposed to develop House Glass Laboratorium at Telukdalam, Kecamatan Tenggarong  with the Area of 51,000 hectare, had developed Coal Mining after they realized and noticed  that Coal Deposit in such Area is plenty enough and good, without owning the Mining Authority.  

Furthermore in such Kompas Newspaper,  it indicates that on the Protection Forest not only there are plenty of owners of Mining Authority but there are plenty of big holes where the Coal had been completely mined. In such Location according to Kompas there exists 299 Mining Authorities, with the understanding that there are 299 Parties who are granted Permits To Mine Coal  at the Hutan Lindung Pegunungan Meratus      (Forestry Protection Meratus Mountain). Furthermore in such Newspaper it says that only few of those mining which request permit pinjam pakai ( borrowing use permit) of such forestry from the Minister of Forestry.

The other permit are being granted by the Local Bupati since they do not know that such location is within the Forestry Protection Area. According to the records of Kompas, during the last 6 Years (until 2009)  at 4 Provincial Area in Kalimantan there exists 2.047 Mining Authority. East Kalimantan according to Kompas  Newspaper is having the First Rank which issued Mining Authroity, that is 1.180 Mining Authority, followed by  Kalimantan Selatan (400-578), Center Kalimantan (427) and South Kalimantan (40).

According to Kompas, if one Mining Authority covers the area of 2.000 hectare, the location which had been dedicated for mining reached 4.09 million Hectare, which is more than the Area of  Kalimatan Selatan (3,75) hectare.     

Kompas says that the Governor of East Kalimantan cannot do much considering that the Minister of Forestry and Head Area Level II ( Bupati/Wali Kota) has the authority to issue the Mining Authority. It indicates that at the present moment in Samarinda around 70% of its Area (71.823 Hactare) is dedicated for Mining Area.

Kompas got the information from the Head of the RT, Kelurahan Sempaja Selatan , that the location of the living area is around 25 meter from the mining hole, resulting their  houses are frequently flooded. 


Farmers at Desa Separi (Village Separi) and Bangunrejo, Kecamatan Tenggarong  appears also to be affected since they failed to harvest their products due to the coal mining waste water  which entered into their rice field. This causes the farmer to sell their rice filed to the Mining Authority. The Sale price is high says several farmers according to Kompas Newspaper.

Several Rice Fields are sold by the Farmers to the Mining Authority holders and  converted to become Mining Area.

There are also many village roads which are curved - cut out  and developed to become Mining Area.  
Examples of such happening is at Kecamatan Siani, Kabupaten Tapin, where the inhabitants can no longer walk since part o the road had been changed into mining area. According to Kompas several of the inhabitants must be cautious upon the Project Vehicles,  where the inhabitants has to ask for permit to go across such location.

According to Kompas the changes of the Forestry had destroyed 7 - 12 ton of Carbon organic every Year. This Carbon is need by microorganisme for the continuation of the ecosystem. One of the sources being interviewed by Kompas said that the Coal Mining does not contribute much for improving the growth of such region. From the production value of Coal production Kalsel which reached 22 trilliun ( for production of 80-100 ton per year), the genuine revenue of the Region ( Pendapat Asli Daerah) does not reach Rp 1 trilliun.

According to Kompas despite the above, The Business of Coal Mining still said that what they had conducted provides positive effects. Mining absorb manpower and moved the inhabitant economy such as the emerging of warung (small shops) and living places. according to Maskur Achmad project Manager of PT Satria Bahana Sarana, a Coal Ming Contractor at Kecamatan Sangasanga, Kabupaten Kutai Kartanegara as quoted by Kompas Newspaper.              

         Analysis.

  • Based on the above Kompas observation.,  we have to observe whether this Coal Mining Activities are in accordance with the proper standard operational mining procedures, to avoid disturbances felt by the people surrounding the area of such Coal Mining. 
  • It also indicates that there are several overlapping mappings of activities between the Forestry Protection Area and such Coal Mining activities. 
  •  Coordination between the Mining Directorate and the Minister of Forestry, the Bupati  and Governor have  to be intensified seriously. 
  •  Socialization with the Local People are significant to be made by the Local Authority in coordination with several Departments concerned such as the Department of Directorate of Coal Mining,  Department of Forestry  and its subdivisions officers including Newspapers including the Coal Mining Rights and Authority pursuant to the Mineral and Coal Law No. 4 Year 2009

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