Bintan, Riau Islands(ANTARA News) - The Environment and Forestry Ministry has deployed a team to bauxite mining sites in Bintan District to investigate alleged environment damage in the region.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya stated when contacted here on Tuesday that the team had arrived at the scene and will take legal measures.

"We will take legal measures," Nurbaya remarked without elaborating further.

Riau Islands Governor Nurdin Basirun earlier said he had not received information on environment damage in Bintan District allegedly as a result of bauxite mining in the region.

"I do not want to comment on this before I receive information from the related office. I will order the office to monitor the bauxite mining," he remarked on Monday.

Antara reported that bauxite mining could be found in Dendang Island, Tembeling, Bekung, Gisi, Bunut Island, Koyang Island, Buton Island, Malin Island, Kelong Island, Mantang lama, and Tembora Island.

The areas have suffered serious environment damage.

Bauxite mining activities were escalated since the Directorate General of Foreign Trade Ministry issued an export license for PT Gunung Bintan Abadi to export bauxite with certain criteria.

The export license was issued after in 2017, the Riau Islands governor issued a mining license for the company, with a production quota of 1.6 million tons.

The company has worked jointly with other firms to achieve the target and export it to China.

Reporting by Nikolas Panama, Sri Haryati

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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