MAC: Mines and Communities

Indonesia orders bauxite mining halt in Bintan

Published by MAC on 2007-08-16

Indonesia orders bauxite mining halt in Bintan

Metal Bullein, Singapore

16th August 2007

The Indonesian central government has ordered miners in the west of Bintan island, one of Indonesia’s two main production bases and a major supplier to alumina refineries in China, to halt bauxite mining, sources told MB.

“The central government sent a memorandum in the last three or four days,” said an official from a Bintan miner.

The bauxite mining area in west Bintan normally produces around 800,000 tpm of bauxite in total, he said. Output in the other parts of Bintan, where production is continuing, is estimated at 200,000 tpm, he said.

The local government had issued licences allowing up to eight bauxite miners to mine the and, but the central government wants the land set aside for a water project, he said.

“That is according to a plan [by the central government] in 1997 but the local government has already given the licences and mining has been going on for at least half a year,” the source added.

The miners are allowed to continue selling stock but are not allowed to mine further, he said, adding that it is not clear whether all the mines have adhered to the government’s order.

An official from a miner in west Bintan confirmed to MB that his company has completely stopped bauxite mining, though he declined to provide details.

An official from one of China’s major alumina refineries Shandong Chiping Xinfa Huayu Alumina Co also confirmed to MB that some mining areas in west Bintan have halted production.

“We understand there are no problems on the smaller islands near to Bintan. It is mining on Bintan itself that is affected,” he said, citing the companies’ suppliers in Bintan.

Chiping has not gauged how large an effect this will have on its production, as the company is still trying to find out more information, he said. But he added that a few of the companies’ main suppliers have assured his company of supply.

“Some of our suppliers say they still have stock, and apparently some mining is still going on on the sly,” he said.

About 90 percent of Chiping’s bauxite feed comes from Bintan and Kalimantan, the other of Indonesia’s main bauxite production base.


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