MAC: Mines and Communities

How You Can Help - Email or fax this sample letter to the various recipients listed. JATAM will also

Published by MAC on 2004-04-15

How You Can Help - Email or fax this sample letter to the various recipients listed. JATAM will also distribute your letter to several levels of local government throughout Indonesia.

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to express support for the villages of Buyat Bay and Ratatotok in North Sulawesi, Indonesia and call on the government of Indonesia to force Newmont Minahasa Raya to conduct mine closure in a manner that meets international standards.

Newmont Minahasa Raya will close its mine site this year, leaving behind many environmental and social problems for the community. Recently, the community expressed their demands to NMR and the provincial government of North Sulawesi to compensate them for the loss of their land and livelihoods, to ensure that environmental rehabilitation be conducted for the area surrounding the mining location, and health services be provided for the communities.

For the seven years of operation, Newmont Minahasa Raya employed the controversial Submarine Tailings Disposal (STD), a method of waste disposal that is banned in many countries for the negative impacts to the environment. This STD operation dumped 2000 tons of mining wastes daily into Buyat Bay, destroying the marine environment , and causing the collapse of the local fishery, the only source of livelihood for the community. This violates the community’s right to a sustainable livelihood.

The community is also facing a health crisis, with several people ill with tumours, severe headaches, and birth defects, all symptoms of heavy metal contamination. There are no health services for the community.

The violation of rights by Newmont Minahasa Raya of the community sets a dangerous precedent for other communities and provides a tragic example of the use of harmful technology and its human impacts. At no point in the process were the communities of Buyat Bay or Ratatotok involved in decision making, nor were they consulted on the price they were offered for their land, a shocking 250 Rp or $0.02/m2, nor were they informed of the health risks they were to face with the mine operations.

Therefore, I write this letter to:

1. Demand Newmont Minahasa Raya be held accountable to the communities afflicted by providing health services and fair compensation for lost land and livelihoods

2. Call on the government of Indonesia to enforce legitimate mechanisms to force PT NMR to conduct mine closure that meets international standards

3. Demand the Indonesian government prohibit the use of Submarine Tailings Disposal in Papua, North Halmahera and North Sulawesi.

4. Call for the international ban on the use of Submarine Tailings Disposal, a practise that devastates the environment and coastal communities


President of Republic of Indonesia, Megawati Soekarnoputri
Fax: (+62 21) 345 7782
(don’t add what seems to be a missing ‘t’!)

Members of the Deep Sea Tailings Placement Steering Committee
ACMER (Australian Center for Mining Environmental Research):
Dr. Clive Bell e-mail:
Keith Eigeland e-mail:
Dr. Harvey D. van Veldhuizen,

The World Bank Group
Attn: JamesD. Wolfensohn, President
fax: (202) 477-6391

Newmont Mining Corporation
Attn: Wayne Murdy
1700 Lincoln Street
Denver, Colorado
USA 80203
Telephone: (303) 863-7414
Fax: (303) 837-5837

Embassy of the United States of America, Jakarta, Indonesia
Attn: Mr. Ralph Boyce
Ambassador to Indonesia
Fax: (+62 21) 385-7189

Embassy of Canada, Jakarta, Indonesia
Attn: Mr. Randolph B. Mank
Ambassador to Indonesia
Fax: (+62 21) 2550-7811

Embassy of Australia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Attn: Mr. David Ritchie
Ambassador to Indonesia
Fax: (+62 21) 522 7101

Embassy of Great Britain, Jakarta, Indonesia
Attn: Mr. Charles Humfrey CMG
Ambassador to Indonesia
(62) (21) 392 6263 ( Political )

More on our No Mining in Protected Forest Areas campaign here!

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