abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

The content is also available in the following languages: 简体中文, 繁體中文


1 Aug 2023


Indonesia: CSO publishes report on social and environmental impacts of the nickel mining industry in Central Halmahera

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

"Nickel Mining in Central Halmahera: Piling Trash, Diminished Water Quality, and Displaced Communities" 1 August 2023

Indonesia is a key player in the global nickel business...Successfully implementing downstream, Indonesia has become the world’s leading primary nickel producer.

The rapid growth of the nickel processing industry and its derivative products is mainly occurring in integrated industrial zones that encompass nickel mining, smelting, and the processing of nickel derivative products for export purposes.

One of these nickel industries is located in Central Halmahera Regency, North Maluku Province. The area includes two villages in Weda Tengah Sub-district, namely Lelilef Sawai Village and Lelilef Woebulen Village, with potential impacts extending to two other villages in Weda Utara Sub-district, namely Gemaf Village and Sagea Village.

The various phases of construction, operation, and post-mining activities within this region are overseen by PT IWIP, a joint venture company comprising Chinese investors...

A social researcher from the Action for Ecology and People’s Emancipation (AEER), Andi Rahmana Saputra, revealed that the arrival of nickel industries has brought significant changes to the social and economic fabric of the affected villages.

The residents of Central Halmahera consider that the companies have not adequately and fairly compensated them for their lands. Local farmers have been forced to sell their agricultural lands and switch professions. Besides reducing agricultural land coverage, the companies have also engaged in reclamation and mangrove deforestation, forcing fishermen to venture further into the sea.

According to Andi, although the presence of these companies has indeed opened up new economic opportunities, it has also led to demographic changes that have given rise to various environmental issues. For example, there are piles of waste, dusty roads, and turbid groundwater. Environmental degradation of this kind increases the number of cases of diarrhea and acute respiratory infections (ARI)...

An environmental researcher from AEER, Arfah Durahman, highlighted the decline in water quality, as indicated by the detection of hexavalent chromium metal ions at several points in surface water and seawater...

“In Lukulamo Village, residents are complaining about the difficulty of finding fish in the Kobe River. The water is turbid due to sedimentation. Fishermen have also witnessed the death of coral fish in the sea, right next to the industrial area. The high temperature of the hot water discharged through the wastewater channel contributes to this issue,” explained Arfah...

This study by AEER presents a current overview of the ongoing social changes and environmental conditions in the villages surrounding the PT IWIP area in Central Halmahera Regency. By comprehending the actual impacts experienced by the villagers, this report aims to raise awareness among various stakeholders, including the central and local governments, academics, companies, community organizations, and non-governmental institutions. The goal is to shape policies and mitigation strategies that effectively mitigate broader impacts and avert potential future dis