Indonesian authorities are considering requests to dispose mining waste into the ocean amid heightened sensitivity about the environmental impact of mining
31 May 2020
Indonesian authorities are considering two companies' requests to dispose mining waste into the ocean...at a time of heightened sensitivity about the environmental impact of mining.
Environmentalists, however, are concerned such developments will damage the local ecosystem.
"Two companies have requested deep-sea tailing permits. One is based on Obi Island and another is from Morowali," Safri Burhanuddin, a senior official at the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime and Investment Affairs [...].
Harita Group is building a high-pressure acid leaching plant on Obi Island to extract battery-grade chemicals from nickel ore, and China's Tsingshan Group, GEM Co Ltd and partners are doing likewise in Morowali on Sulawesi Island.
Reuters could not reach Tsingshan or GEM for comment on Sunday. Calls to Harita went unanswered.
Burhanuddin [...] said the requests are under consideration by the maritime and fishery ministry and the environment ministry.
Burhanuddin said oceans around Obi Island and Morowali are more than 1,000 metres (0.62 miles) deep and safe for waste dumping, and that the government will only allow the disposal of materials it deems safe.
"The most important thing is how we control this," he said. "All mining activities have aspects that are not environmentally friendly. We just have to minimise them."