Lingga Regency, Riau Islands Province, Republic of Indonesia, has become the location of rampant and destructive illegal tin mining activities.
The miners without permits and supervision exploit natural resources without considering the impact on the environment. Heavy equipment used for mining has dug and destroyed forest land that should be a source of water and habitat for living creatures. Giant ponds formed by mining excavations also threaten the balance of the ecosystem and public health.
According to journalist observations, illegal tin mining has been going on for a long time and reached dozens of points in the Lingga Regency area. The miners do not have a WPR (People’s Mining Area) permit that has been revoked by the central government and have not obtained a new permit from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. The miners also do not report the production and sales of tin that they do. This is suspected of evading taxes and harming the state.
The miners are not registered with BPJS Employment and BPJS Health, and do not prosper the local community. There are allegations of investors who accommodate the miners without permits and use the local community as a shield.
Law enforcement must be carried out firmly against illegal tin mining, the related parties must immediately take action, confiscation, arrest, and seal the perpetrators and heavy equipment. Illegal tin mining in Lingga Regency shows how weak law enforcement and environmental protection are in Indonesia.
The regional and central governments must immediately act firmly to regulate and prosecute the perpetrators who damage nature. Environmental observers and civil society must also continue to monitor and report similar cases so that they do not recur.
Report by Ronny Paslan Young Indonesian Journalist, from the Scene of Illegal Tin Mining Lingga, Kepri, Indonesia