Banda Aceh, Aceh, (ANTARA News) - The government has issued as many as 37 Contracts of Work/Mining Business Permits (KK/IUP) in Aceh Province, according to the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).
"According to the data we obtained from the Government of Aceh, 37 Contracts of Work/Mining Business Permits (KK/IUP) were issued for an area of 156,003 hectares, spread across 10 districts and cities," Walhi Aceh Executive Director M. Nur remarked here on Friday.
He said the central government, through the Investment Coordinating Board, or BKPM, had issued a production operation permit to PT Emas Mineral Murni (PT EMM).
"PT EMM has received a production operation permit for an area of 10 thousand hectares and is located in Acehs two districts of Nagan Raya and Central Aceh," he stated.
The mining permit bagged by PT EMM has been rejected by the local residents, as the mining area is located in the Leuser Ecosystem, or KEL.
PT EMMs operation area lies in the habitat of three protected animal species of the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant, and orangutan.
"Now, the community along with Walhi Aceh has filed a lawsuit in the East Jakarta State Administrative Court (TUN), and the demand is revocation of the IUP," the Walhi Aceh executive director remarked.
He pointed out that illegal gold mining was still rampant in several areas in the westernmost province of Sumatra.
"Based on our observation, until the end of 2018, the legal efforts undertaken by law enforcement agencies also seemed to be ineffective," he stated.
Nur explained that Walhi Aceh still found illegal gold mining activities in Pidie, West Aceh, Nagan Raya, and South Aceh districts.
"The total damage to forests and land impacted by illegal gold mining reaches 7,500 hectares," he added.
Source: ANTARA News