The Jakarta Post
Unlicensed mining of bauxite continues on the islands of Angkut, Dendang and Bukit Batu in Bintan, Riau Islands, despite a government call to end the activities.
"I do not know why they still continue to mine the bauxite,” said the head of Bintan and Tanjungpinang’s forest management and production department when accompanying officials of the Environment and Forestry Ministry visiting Bintan on Sunday.
In fact, bauxite mining sites in Bukit Batu, for example, are located close to the Bintan district administration office, while workers of mining firm CV Gemilang used the main road to transport bauxite to the port and sell it to PT Gunung Bintan Abadi, he said.
The regulation states that mining trucks are not allowed to use the public road to transport bauxite.
Previously, Environment and Forest Ministry forest preservation director Sustyo Iriyono stressed that no bauxite mining was allowed on the small islands. He added that the ministry had sealed a number of mining sites and would file law suits against anyone engaged in illegal mining.
"We have the names of five companies that operate at 19 mining sites. Those violators could be prosecuted either in Jakarta or in Riau Islands," he said, as reported by news agency Antara.
Bauxite mining has escalated since the Trade Ministry’s Foreign Trade Directorate General issued a license to PT Gunung Bintan Abadi to export bauxite in 2017.
The Riau Islands governor issued a mining permit for the company with a production quota of 1.6 million tons. The company cooperated with others to fulfill the quota and export the commodity to China. (bbn)