Indonesia Revokes Gold Mining Permit Amid Violence
Indonesia on Saturday revoked a gold mining exploration permit granted to an Australian miner following a series of violent protests against the project left two dead last month, reports said.
The decision came after thousands of people on Thursday demonstrated in the city of Bima on Sumbawa Island, near the popular tourist destination of Bali, with government buildings set on fire.
“We decided to revoke permanently the permit for the sake of security stability here,” Bima district head Ferry Zulkarnain told local television station MetroTV.
“We’re ready to face any possible legal lawsuit by mining companies against the revocation,” he told state news agency Antara.
In 2010, West Nusa Tenggara province granted exploration rights to Australian Arc Exploration (ARX) and local miner Sumber Mineral Nusantara, a project that covers some 250 square kilometers of the island.
Critics worry the project would have a negative environmental impact.
In December police fire on anti-mining protesters in Bima, leaving two dead.
ARX halted its early-stage exploration activities following the violence.