tin mining

Photo Courtesy: Steven Wassenaar (Illegal tin mining in Batako, Tunghin, Bangka Belitung Island)

A landscape of beautiful Bangka Belitung’s scenery is facing a serious demand to be rejuvenated. As we already know, as the world’s best tin producer, Bangka Belitung province always receives the global demand for tin in a large quantity across France, Germany, US, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Japan, and Singapore. This large demand that requires tin mining has created an urge toward nature exploitation in a way that can’t be signified as responsible for environment sustainability as a whole supporting system.

Since the government included around 1.6 million hectares of land in the Mining Business Concession (IUP) on a large and unconventional scopes, both the illegal and official miners intensified their tin mining activities, in land and ocean areas. This activity had triggered several protests from fishermen who depended their generated incomes through fisheries.

They protested because the damage the mining left on the coral reefs had contributed to the demise of the oceanic ecosystem and living fish in a significant amount. The method of tin mining implemented by common miners involved a lot of suctioning process whereby a cluster mass of mud was being left scattered on the affected zone causing a lot of losses for ocean commodities.

Even though the government had claimed on the temporary compensation fee to counterbalance the losses of the income for many fishermen, it couldn’t be just fair and square to the sustainability of the environment. As the thorough investigation was conducted, the compensation came on behalf of mining company adding the odds and suspicion to be landed similar to any bribery case.

If the government didn’t act immediately to solve this problem, the mining company would be ignorant to rehabilitate an ex-excavation hole because once their mining permit was up, they would be out of the responsibility for any former damage created in the past. This way of thinking had given a rise to WALHI (Direktur Wahana Lingkungan Hidup) protest addressed to local government to review the moratorium concerning mining activities. WALHI also suggested the conduction of a new auditorium to several on-site tin mining companies operating in Bangka Belitung.

“The economical potency of Bangka Belitung must be extended to evolve around tourism, fisheries, and condiments commodities beside depending primarily from tin mining. The pepper commodity is one of the export mainstays for Europe that needs to be considered,” said WALHI’s representative.

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