The flood disaster that inundated South Kalimantan (South Kalimantan) in early 2021 is thought to have been inseparable from environmental damage and the conversion of forest areas due to coal mining.
One of the large-scale coal mining companies operating in South Kalimantan is PT Arutmin Indonesia, a subsidiary of PT Bumi Resources Tbk (BUMI), the Bakrie business group.
General Manager of Legal and External Affairs of PT Arutmin Indonesia, Ezra Sibarani, did not deny that large-scale land clearing could be one of the factors causing flooding.
The clearing of the land can be caused by various activities such as plantations, especially oil palm, mining and agriculture.
Even so, Ezra emphasized that the main causes of flooding in South Kalimantan need to be reviewed and evaluated in depth.
“As stated by the President, the rainfall in the last few days has been very high, even far above the average rainfall in the last few years. Besides, the drainage system is sufficient or not,” Ezra said when contacted by Kontan.co. en, Friday (22/1).
In terms of land clearing, Ezra also emphasized that these activities must be reviewed, whether or not they already have an environmental study (Amdal) that has been evaluated and approved by the government.
This is because the facts in the field show that there are still many land clearing activities for plantations, agriculture and mining that have not been evaluated for environmental feasibility and do not have an Amdal permit.”This requires attention and firm action from the government,” Ezra continued.
Furthermore, he also claimed that Arutmin Indonesia’s post-mining reclamation activities have been carried out since the 1990s and have continued until now.
“The practice of post-mining reclamation in Arutmin has been used as an example and reference for other mining companies. The government itself has repeatedly rewarded the success of post-mining reclamation in Arutmin,” he said.
In Kontan.co.id notes, PT Arutmin Indonesia has mines located in Satui, Senakin, Batulicin, and Asam-Asam, South Kalimantan with an area of 57,107 hectares (ha).
After obtaining a license extension and a change in status from PKP2B to IUPK on November 2, 2020, Arutmin’s concession was reduced by 40.1%.With this, the Arutmin concession area will be around 34,207 ha.
On the other hand, floods in South Kalimantan also disrupted mining operations, including Arutmin.Ezra said, open pit mining can be disrupted when the rainfall is high.However, he ensured that Arutmin’s coal production activities continued.
“Floods have little impact on operational activities. We are making technical efforts to face high rainfall, so that our mines are also not filled with water,” concluded Ezra.