"A mafia is operating on Mount Botak, so thousands of unlicensed gold miners can freely re-operate despite the government having already banned it," Yasin noted in Ambon on Saturday.
The deposits of the precious metal, discovered since 2011, have caused several problems, including social security disturbances in the form of robberies, torture, and murders, as well as the environmental damage caused due to mercury waste contamination.
A few weeks ago, the government had returned to clear the activities of tens of thousands of illegal miners arriving from various parts of the country in the Gunung Botak area.
Yasin opined that if there is no one playing around there, then the people will not dare to go back to look for gold, as the government has taken a firm stance.
"With regard to mercury (waste contamination), we all -- the provincial government, especially the Environmental Service, and the provincial legislative body (DPRD) -- must take it seriously, as it will have a negative impact on the lives of the people there," he noted.
If mercury residues contaminate food, the central and regional governments will have to bear the brunt.
This is especially critical since mercury will harm natural resources, especially in the sea, and pollute marine creatures and enter the food chain. Hence, when export quality fish contaminated with mercury is consumed, it can have wide-ranging repercussions.
Thus, anything exported from Indonesia, especially Maluku, will be blacklisted around the world.
"PT BPS, which has the clear authority to prevent and stop the distribution of chemicals, has included cyanide on its list. However, the government should be firm," Yasin stated.
Management of gold mine deposits in Mount Botak should be firm and apply more serious regulatory patterns and not just involve issuing a ban but also focus on the type of management to be applied.
The gold deposit there is a regional asset that can become a source of revenue for the provincial and district governments if the central government also intervenes and the provincial government is firm about the management system by PT BPS.
Thus, later, if the chemicals are managed properly, and it can be accounted for legally, as well as a joint mining cooperation is established with the government, then the results of the gold deposits in the stock file can become provincial and district revenues.
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Reporting by Daniel Leonard
Editing by Eliswan, Rahmad