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Jakarta Post

Environment Watch: The intricate state of the overlapping mining area in Morowali

  • Ruslan Sangadji,

    The Jakarta Post,

Morowali, Central Sulawesi   /   Fri, January 9 2009   /  10:55 am

Cashew farmers, village leaders, a mining company and a governor have all become embroiled in a land and community dispute in Central Sulawesi, a classic study in how not to balance community needs and capital ventures. To understand what happened we have to go back to 1996. The government extended the concession rights of nickel mining company PT INCO Tbk. in 1996 to 2025, entitling it to conduct mining activities in South, Central and Southeast Sulawesi provinces, better known as the Bahodopi block, for 30 years. Its concession area in the Bahodopi block covers 36,000 hectares, but 1,600 ha of that land have already been given over to the transmigration community in Onepute Jaya village, Bungku Tengah district in Morowali regency. Disputes have arisen due to this overlapping ownership of the company and the transmigrants. The land dispute ensued in the early 199...