Friday, February 3, 2023

Civil society group accuses Amman Mineral for violating laws on CSR and manpower

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Gusty da Costa





A civil society group has accused gold and copper company PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara (AMNT) for violating Law No. 4/2019 on Coal and Mineral and regulations on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and manpower issues.

“In the mining sector, the owner of special mining permit (IUPK) has annual work plan and budget (RKAT). The budget contains obligation for CSR or development program for the people. The problem is there is no transparency and also some of the CSR funds are not channeled to the people,” chairman of the Alliance of Society Against Mining Mafia in West Sumbawa Regency (Amanat KSB) in West Nusa Tenggara, Erry Setiawan, told Indonesia Business Post on January 20, 2023.

AMNT CEO Rachmat Makkasau did not respond to the Post‘s request for comment.

The mining company operates the Batu Hijau mine. AMNT owns several other promising copper and gold mines in West Sumbawa regency. Batu Hijau mine is the second largest copper and gold mine in Indonesia, after PT Freeport Indonesia’s Grasberg mine in Mimika regency, Central Papua.

Alleged violations of CSR and workers’ rights

Setiawan said since 2017 to 2020, there has been IDR 400 billion (US$ 26.5 million) of CSR funds. During a hearing with the House of Representatives (DPR)’s Commission VII overseeing mining industry, AMNT said there were IDR 200 billion of CSR funds that have not been channeled to the people.

According to the Amanat KSB’s finding, the company has failed to execute the CSR programs as it claimed and did not give significant benefit to the people. “They just gave 3 goats or gave donation of IDR 10 millions for a mosque. However, we are talking about hundreds of billions of rupiah, “he said.

Read also: Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara smelter progress reaches 47% in October 2022

Setiawan explained that the company has also violated laws and regulations on manpower. He pointed out the absence of a worker union as one of the violations. In addition, there have been many work accidents that led to death of workers every year.

“We have the complete data on the fatalities of the work accidents, we can publish it,” he said.

Amanat KSB also has the data on the unilateral lay offs, outsourcing status for workers who do the company’s core business and the ban for workers to publish or upload their comments in social media on mining issues.

Setiawan said that he and his group has complained the AMNT’s violations to several ministries and agencies, including the DPR, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Ministry of Manpower and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) as well as the police.

Who should be responsible for the violations?

Lawmaker Adian Napitupulu said the civil society group needed to identify who was responsible for the policy about the CSR and manpower. “Were the policies made by managers or board of directors? Do they want it, do they leave it like that or do the shareholders enjoy the situation? We will know who is responsible for the wrongdoing, recurring work accidents, environmental damage and the union busting,” he explained.

Napitupulu questioned that if the policies were made by managers and/or directors, why they have not been fired? He alleged that it was the policy of shareholders who benefit from the CSR funds. “There are around U$ 14 million that has not been channeled for the people, and is deposited at banks. The money will have interest until billions of rupiah a month,” he pointed out.

Read also: Indonesia’s downstream mineral industry ambitions still have a long way to go

However, he said that the people’s demand on the CSR funds was reasonable. The company has enriched itself by exploiting the natural resources. The shareholders should think about the fate of the West Nusa Tenggara people.

“The people’s demand is simple. The government officials request facilities like houses, cars, etc. While the businessmen request facilities like tax holiday, import tax reduction, tax delay, etc. The people get nothing. The people only request that if you take our natural resources and we take nothing from our natural resources due to your existence there, so we request compensation in other form. The people do not have a lavish life like the businessmen but a decent life as human being,” Napitupulu explained.

Progress of smelter and IPO plan

Napitupulu also asked the Amanat KSB to collect data on the progress of Amman’s smelter construction. The progress of the smelter is one of the requirements for the company to secure the export permit from the government. If the company failed to comply with the regulations and laws on smelter construction, he said the government could ban its copper concentrate exports. “If needed, we can reject Amman’s concentrate export because of the several reasons,” he added. 

At the same time, Napitupulu also requested the Financial Services Authority  (OJK) and the Ministry of Finance to review Amman’s IPO plan. He suggested the Amanat KSB to report the company’s violation of the rights for workers and the absence of CSR to international financial institutions and global financial players so they will be reluctant to buy Amman’s shares in the IPO.

Gusty da Costa






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