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Jakarta Post

Farmer fights politically wired mining firm

  • Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

  /   Fri, February 15 2019   /  12:45 am
Budi Pego (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)(JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Budi Pego (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)Heri Budiawan had just returned to Sumberagung village in Banyuwangi, East Java, around August 2010 after working in Saudi Arabia for 10 years and he found that his hometown had changed much because of gold mining in the nearby Tumpang Pitu mountain range.

Before 2014, mining company PT Indo Multi Niaga had carried out exploration to find gold there. Everything changed around 2014 when the company struck gold and began the preconstruction phase for the gold mines. The permit also changed hands from Indo Multi to PT Bumi Suksesindo (BSI).

BSI, a subsidiary of PT Merdeka Copper Gold, took over mining operations in 2012. It has been running the mining operation ever since.

During the preconstruction phase in 2014, Heri, also known as Budi Pego, said residents spotted major changes to their environment’s landscape. He accused BSI of, am...