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Illegal mining returns to Southeast Minahasa district

Manado, Ekuatorial – Activists on Tuesday (3/2) slammed Southeast Minahasa government for ‘ignoring’ illegal mining activities allegedly conducted by foreign companies in Alason site, Ratatotok sub-district, Mitra district.

“Two units excavators were seen operating in Alason since last Monday (26/1). Workers were spotted setting up a temporary 20 tonnes capacity gold processor,” said Rully Tamod, villager of Ratatotok sub-district. “We suspected ‘foul play’ between PT Borneo Jaya Emas, a subsidiary of Borneo Resources Investment Ltd with [Mitra] Energy and Mineral Resources Agency as this company did not have permit to operate.”

Head of Mitra One Door Policy Unit of Investment Agency, Rolly Mamahit, said that they have yet to issue permit to PT Borneo Jaya Emas. “There is only one company manage to get the permit which is PT Limpoga Jaya. We have yet to receive any submissions from other companies,” said Mamahit.

Meanwhile, Head of Mitra Energy and Mineral Resources Agency, Dennij Porajow confirmed on the activity. “We have received reports from villagers and already dispatched monitoring team from monitoring to follow up [on the issue]. We also have sent notification to the company to stop their activities,” said Porajow.

However, he said the agency would only restricted to give notification and not closing down their activities. “It is the responsibility of civil service police force [Satpol PP] to close down [mining sites], not the agency,” he said.

Tamod demanded that head of Southeast Minahasa district, James Sumendap to be committed to his own words. “He instructed that all mining activities will be closed down for indefinite time. But, in reality, there are others still free to mine. We don’t want any ‘favoritism’ that is why firm action from the government is needed in this matter,” he said. Yoseph Ikanubun

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