Last update:
2019-03-20

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
Name of conflict:Karonsi'e Dongi people and Vale mine in Sorowako, Sulawesi, Indonesia
Country:Indonesia
State or province:South Sulawesi
Location of conflict:Sorowako, 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 commodities:Nickel
Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

This 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].

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Project area:218,528 [13]
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:261,199 [13]
Start of the conflict:1968
Company names or state enterprises:Vale 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 organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Karonsi’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
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Women
Karonsi'e Dogi community, Padoe and Tambe’e villages
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
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 of the project
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
Other Environmental impactsIncreasing 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
Other Health impactsasthma, rhinitis, and skin tumours [7]
Indigenous woman Werima Mananta died in 2013 due to her dedicated fight for their indigenous territory [2]
Socio-economical 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
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Migration/displacement
Repression
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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 to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[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]

[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]

[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]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[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]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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]

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]

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]

Meta information
Contributor:ICTA-UAB and Tracy Glynn
Last update20/03/2019
Comments
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