Government should legalize gold mining in Buru

Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA News) - The government is expected to legalize gold mining activities at Mount Botak area on Buru Island in Maluku Province in order to avoid bloody incidents, according to a local councilor.

Member of Buru Regional Legislative Assembly, Syarifuddin, said here on Tuesday that the illegal mining activities around Mouth Botak area had created a lot of problems.

Moreover, he said the licensing process of mining region and people`s mining area was still hampered at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

"Therefore, Buru District Head Ramly Umasugi has been asked to legalize the mining activities which are threatening environmental sustainability," Syarifuddin said.

He noted that the Wael family, who owns the land around Mount Botak were the gold deposit is found, should be involved in the legalization process in order to eliminate violent among gold hunters.

Ibrahim Wael, a member of Wael family, said here on Tuesday that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would help overcome the illegal gold mining activities.

"We have nowhere else to report our case but asking the head of state to instruct competent parties to help us overcome the illegal mining activities around Mount Botak," Ibrahim said.

After the discovery of a gold field in Mount Botak at Wamsait village in 2011, the place has become less secure.

Since then, conflicts between gold miners and local communities have repeatedly occurred and claimed a number of lives, and left many others seriously injured.

Ibrahim said the cases have been reported to Buru District Head

Ramly Umasugi, Maluku Governor Karel Albert Ralahalu, Pattimura Military Commander May Gen Eko Wiratmoko, Maluku Police Chief Brig Gen Muktiono, even to home affairs minister, the National Police chief, and TNI chief.

But he noted that the illegal mining activity continued to get out of hand.

(O001/F001) 

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