Banda Aceh (ANTARA) - The Aceh provincial government has sought assistance of Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to conduct an assessment of the granting of mining business licenses (IUPs) to PT Emas Mineral Murni (EMM).

"We have penned a request to the BKPM chairman for a review of the PT EMM IUP," Aceh Acting Governor Nova Iriansyah remarked in Banda Aceh, Monday.

Iriansyah explained that the letter to conduct the review was written in response to the demands of the public calling to revoke PT EMM's IUPs in the districts of Beutong, Nagan Raya, and Celala in Central Aceh District.

The Aceh acting governor confirmed that his side had set up a team to expedite resolution of the dispute arising over the issuance of PT EMM's IUP.

Along with roping in the BKPM for reviewing PT EMM's IUP, the provincial government has revoked the recommendation of Governor of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Number 545/12161, dated June 8, 2006, regarding recommendations for mining exploration to PT EMM.

"We seek a review of the issuance of IUP and revoke recommendations since the provincial government seconded the view of the Aceh community members to protect the environment," Iriansyah explained.

Moreover, the Aceh acting governor pointed out that the mining sector had not been prioritized, and that the Aceh government's policy laid greater emphasis on the small and medium industry sector.

Iriansyah expressed regret over the presence of several documents supporting the issuance of the gold exploitation IUP in Aceh issued by BKPM RI.

The issuance of the permit is believed to run counter to Article 156 of Law Number 11 of 2006 on the Aceh administration wherein it cites the provincial government and district and city governments in Aceh for managing natural resources in line with their authority.

"The Aceh provincial government will make continued efforts to tackle the dispute arising from the issuance of IUP to PT EMM. What is most crucial is how to protect Aceh's environment as outlined in our vision and mission," Aceh Acting Governor Iriansyah stated.

Translator: Eliswan Azly
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti
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