Karonsi'e Dongi people and Vale mine in Sorowako, Sulawesi, Indonesia

More that fifty years of Pt inco/vale mining company operating in Sorowako. Indigenous women lead the principal actions against the mining activity on their traditional land.


Description

The largest nickel mining company in the world causes  conflicts in the rich hills around Lake Matano on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. PT Inco (now belonging to Vale Indonesia) began exploring Sorowako’s nickel in 1968. In 1977, PT Inco opened a smelter and one year later began commercial production. President Suharto’s “New Order” regime made foreign investment a priority. The PT Inco mining operation, owned by Inco Ltd. from Canada, was Indonesia’s second multinational-owned mine to establish under Suharto [6].

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Basic Data
NameKaronsi'e Dongi people and Vale mine in Sorowako, Sulawesi, Indonesia
CountryIndonesia
ProvinceSouth Sulawesi
SiteSorowako, Witamorini, Sorowako, Luwu Timor
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Mineral processing
Specific CommoditiesNickel
Land
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThis is the largest nickel laterite operation in the world. Although Dutch explorers sampled the nickel laterite near Lake Matano on Sulawesi Island in the early 1900s, it was not until 1968 that PT Inco officially began operations in Indonesia [1].

Previously, PT Vale Indonesia was called PT International Nickel Indonesia or PT Inco. Nowadays, Vale Indonesia's majority shareholder is Vale Canada which owns 59.73% , 20.09% by Sumitomo Metal mining; and 21.8 % publicly owned as a result of share divestment [10]. The company signed a contract with the Indonesian Government in 1968. The full production started in 1978. In 1996, PT Inco signed a second contract, gaining exploration rights in additional zones in South, Southeast and Central Sulawesi. This original contract later on got modified and extended up to 2025 [1]. . The extracted nickel is sold to factories in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China.[2]

PT Inco/PT Vale Indonesia has gained high profits from its operations in Sulawesi. At the government level, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the district governments of Luwu Timur Regency, the provincial government of South Sulawesi as well as the central government of Indonesia are involved in the mining project. [2, 3]. Processing plant capacity is 72,500 tons of nickel per year, with 75% of nickel content [3].

Hydroelectric power plants were developed to supply electricity to PT. Vale. Larona started its operations in 1979. It consists of three turbines with continuous power capacity of 165 megawatts [14]. Balambano power plant has two turbines with continuous power capacity of 110 megawatts. It was built in 1995 and started operations in 1999 [13, 14].
Project Area (in hectares)218,528 [13]
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population261,199 [13]
Start Date1968
Company Names or State EnterprisesVale Indonesia from Brazil
Vale Canada Ltd from Canada - According to Vale Indonesia's website, 80 % of Vale Indonesia's annual output is sold to Vale Canada. Vale Canada is also a major shareholder in Vale Indonesia
Vale (Vale) from Brazil
Pt Inco from Brazil - PT Inco is a Nickel Mine (Sulawesi) in Indonesia owned by Vale
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersKaronsi’e Dongi Community Alliance (KRAPASKAD)

Indigenous Sorowako Association (KW AS)

Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN)

Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM)

MiningWatch Canada https://www.miningwatch.ca

Public Service Alliance of Canada http://psacunion.ca

Development and Peace https://www.devp.org/en

WALHI
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Women
Karonsi'e Dogi community, Padoe and Tambe’e villages
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Hunger strikes and self immolation
assessing the environmental and potential human health impacts
They generated a map of their traditional land with the knowledge of elders and used it to tell the story of how their community became displaced and dispossessed
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
OtherIncreasing suspended particulates (TSP) and airborne metal concentrations (Ni, Co and Cr )
Health ImpactsVisible: Deaths, Other Health impacts
Potential: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Otherasthma, rhinitis, and skin tumours [7]

Indigenous woman Werima Mananta died in 2013 due to her dedicated fight for their indigenous territory [2]
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Migration/displacement
Repression
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The situation could easily get worse. Today, approximately 170 Karonsi’e Dongi people live in 57 huts in Kurate Lawa and Bumper on 3.5 hectares of land along the Inco/Vale golf course, with no secure water supply, under the watchful eye of armed security. The community finally obtained electricity in 2013 [3]. However, two years later, Inco/Vale cut the electricity to the community in Bumper. Despite an order from the local government and a request from the Indonesian Human Rights Commission, Vale has refused to re-connect the residents to the power grid.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Pasal 1 butir 31 Undang-Undang Nomor 32 Tahun 2009 tentang Perlindungan dan Pengelolaan Lingkungan Hidup menyebutkan bahwa Masyarakat Hukum Adat adalah (Article 1 point 31 of Law Number 32 Year 2009 concerning Environmental Protection and Management states that Customary Law Communities)

Law No. 51 PRP 1960

References

[6] Robinson 2002. Oxfam. Labour, love and loss: mining and the displacement of women's labour.Accessed online on 28 February 2019
[click to view]

[2] Mining the WOMB of the Earth. Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Foundation, 2013
[click to view]

[3] Alliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN). 2016. “Konflik Agraria Masyarakat Adat

Atas Wilayahnya di Kawasan Hutan.” Book 3. Accessed online on February 2019
[click to view]

[5] Robinson 1986. Stepchildren of progress : the political economy of development in an Indonesian mining town. Accessed online on 28 February 2019
[click to view]

[7] Tracy Glynn 2006. COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN HEALTH IMP ACTS OF A LATERITE NICKEL MINE AND SMELTER IN SOROWAKO, INDONESIA. University of Newfouland, Canada. Accessed online on 28 February 2019
[click to view]

[8] Chris Ballard. 2006. Human Rights and the Mining Sector in Indonesia: A Baseline Study. IIED. Canada. Accessed online on 28 February 2019
[click to view]

[11] Tracy Glynn. 2010. RECLAIMING RIGHTS: THE ONGOING STRUGGLES OF THE SOROWAKO. International Women and Mining Network (RIMM)

COMMUNITY
[click to view]

[12] WOMAN in Environment & Natural Resources Management Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI)
[click to view]

[13] Lebba Kadorre Pongsibanne, Hamka Naping, Supriadi Hamdat and Ansar Arifin. 2018. SOCIAL CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION IN ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOR OF PADOE COMMUNITY (A CASE STUDY OF PADOE COMMUNITY IN MINING AREA OF PT. VALE, TBK. IN WASUPONDA, LUWU DISTRICT, SOUTH SULAWESI PROVINCE). International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology Research.
[click to view]

Links

[4] KARONSI’E DONGI & SOROWAKO WOMEN.Accessed online on February 28, 2019
[click to view]

[1] Mining atlas
[click to view]

[10] Sorowako, South Sulawesi – PT Vale. Accessed on line 3 March 2019.
[click to view]

Farmers protest in Sulawesi: “Mining is destroying our lives”. 2011. Accessed on line 3 March 2019.
[click to view]

[9] Inco says protest ends at Indonesian nickel mine. AUGUST 11, 2009. Accessed online on 3 March 2019.
[click to view]

[14] Larona Hydroelectric Plant. Online accessed on 11th March 2019
[click to view]

[15] Protests and Blockades Continue Against Inco in Indonesia. Press Release, September 28, 2005. Online accessed on 11th March
[click to view]

Media Links

Community Statement on Inco in Sulawesi: Thirty years - and justice still denied Published by MAC on 2003-10-02
[click to view]

Other Documents

by Yayasan Tanah Merdeka Inco Demonstration. May 3, 2007
[click to view]

by https://photovoicesorowako.wordpress.com/about-2/ The Karonsi’e Dongi people have become an audience to our own extinction:” Werima Mananta, Karonsi’e Dongi community leader in 2006. Here, the community leader is leading a demonstration at Inco’s regional office in Makassar in 2005.
[click to view]

PHOTO: Jaringan Advokasi Tambang/Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM). Ibu Yuliana at a hunger strike against Inco in Sulawesi. Karonsi’e Dongi plant gardens in a bid to

survive on traditional land (now abandoned by Vale Inco).
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorICTA-UAB and Tracy Glynn
Last update20/03/2019
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