Indigenous Dayaks in a remote Borneo village fight BHP coal mine
Dana Macauley, news.com.au, 12th August 2015
AUSTRALIAN mining giant BHP Billiton has hit a roadblock on its coal mine in Indonesian Borneo after finally starting operations.
The company begun mobilising the Haju mine, the first stage in its massive 350,000ha IndoMet project, after being delayed by the global financial crisis.
But the indigenous Dayak people of the nearby village of Maruwai, in the remote north Central Kalimantan, have launched a legal claim that aims to lock BHP out of 1000ha of land within the project area.
While the land is in an area designated as state forest, the villagers claim that the government should never have granted the company permission to mine its traditional lands.
“The loss of land has impacted people’s livelihoods pretty considerably,” said journalist Jenny Denton, who visited Maruwai last year and interviewed the villagers with the help of a translator.