Indigenous Indonesians file land claim against IndoMet coal project

A few months before BHP Billiton’s Haju mine is set to begin operations in Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province, residents of nearby Maruwei village have filed a claim for 1,000 hectares of land in the area under a new land rights scheme for indigenous peoples. 

The scheme, called Dayak Misik and introduced by the provincial government last year, allocates 10 hectares to each village for communal use and five hectares to each household. 

“When BHP comes, it will be a restricted area,” Suwanto, chief of Maruwei, told the Jakarta Globe. “So we have to race against BHP to claim this land under the Dayak Misik scheme.” 

“We welcome mining as long as they respect our way of life, our livelihood, our customary land. When they don’t, we’ll fight to the end,” he added. 

The Haju mine is part of the IndoMet coal project, which spans seven concessions over 350,000 hectares in Central and East Kalimantan provinces. 

IndoMet is jointly operated by Melbourne-based BHP and Indonesia’s Adaro Energy, which is jointly controlled by five of Indonesia’s richest businessmen: Edwin Soeryadjaya, Theodore Rachmat, Garibaldi Thohir, Subianto and Sandiaga Uno. 

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