Gov´t Must Prevent Mercury Usage in Popoya Mine, Sulawesi

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 , 09:00:00 WIB -

A miner is seen processing gold with a tool called "glundung" to separate gold from rocks, they usually use mercury. (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – The House’s Commission VII condemns the usage of mercury in Poboya mine, Sulawesi Tengah. Besides damaging the environment, the use of mercury is dangerous for the locals.

Therefore, the House’s Commission VII urges the government, particularly the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, to monitor mining activity in Poboya. Poboya becomes a center for artisanal mining that has no permit and uses much mercury.

The House’s Commission VII member Mochtar Tompo said they condemn the use of mercury in Poboya mine, Palu, Sulawesi Tengah.

"The Energy and Mineral Resources representative said they are not responsible with illegal small-scale mines. Despite this, companies that have no permit are the most dominant contributor to environmental damage," Mochtar said.

According to the test result on wells in the region, 7 of 10 wells are contaminated with 0.005 mercury. So, the damage is fivefold from the normal standard.

"The House’s Commission VII wants to look into the mercury usage issue in Sulawesi issue, we will establish a special team to show that we’re serious. When an issue comes up, we will call them to the House’s Commission VII," he explained, as quoted from

Previously, the usage of mercury has killed many victims and it becomes the world problem. For instance, the locals of Minamata City eat fish from the river, but the fish contains mercury as there are mercury wastes in the river. Therefore, many people in Minamata have a physical handicap as they consume fish that contains mercury.

"The same issue mustn’t happen in Indonesia and this issue needs a tight supervision on illegal mines that still use mercury," he said. "Indonesia will suffer great losses in human resources, environment, and economy sector if the government doesn’t handle the issue," Mochtar Tompo stated. (rm)