Jakarta, 12 April 2023 – Today, representatives of the people of Obi Island, North Maluku together with JATAM, Enter Nusantara and Trend Asia held a peaceful rally at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) tower, Jakarta right on the initial public offering (IPO) of PT Trimegah Bangun Persada Tbk (NCKL). The protesters submitted a report on the damages caused by NCKL on the natural springs, coastal ecosystem, and their living space in South Halmahera.

The Harita Group subsidiary’s net worth is projected to rise from USD 1.1 billion to USD 4.6 billion. This action was carried out to warn the brokers, as public intermediaries in buying and selling shares, about the dangers of investing in NCKL.

PT Trimegah Bangun Persada Tbk (NCKL) is a subsidiary of the Harita Group, operators of the first High Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) smelter on Obi Island, North Maluku, which produces 60,000 tons of nickel per year. The HPAL technology converts local low-grade ore into mixed hydroxide deposits, a form of nickel that can be further processed to make batteries.

PT Trimegah Bagun Persada, together with PT Gane Sentosa Permai, PT Halmahera Persada Lygend, PT Megah Surya Pertiwi, and PT Halmahera Jaya Feronikel on Obi Island, all working under the Harita Group, have devastated local plantations and polluted the natural springs, the river, and the sea. They pollute the air with dust and pollution, harming the health of local residents, to the point where social conflicts rose due to the repeated intimidation and violence against residents defending their land and living space. PT Trimegah Bangun Persada, along with other companies under the Harita Group, also seized residents’ land without negotiation and fair compensation.

“Lili Mangundap and four other families in Kawasi village had their land stolen by the company. The company and the government of South Halmahera Regency also plan to relocate the villagers of Kawasi to the Eco Village Housing, 5 kilometers away from Kawasi. For the villagers, this relocation won’t only drive them away from their homes, but also uproot them from their cultural and historical values. This will also deprive them of their livelihood as they rely on the land, the plantations, and the sea,” said Muhammad Jamil, Head of the National JATAM Legal Division.

Harita Group’s mining operations have polluted the water sources of the villagers with nickel ore sedimentation. The villagers used to get water for free, but after the operations they have to spend money for clean water. This is especially harsh for the economically disadvantaged as they are forced to use polluted water sources. PT Trimegah Bangun Persada and other Harita Group companies in this area dumped their waste into the rivers and the sea, causing the color of the coast and sea to turn murky brown. The marine ecosystem of Obi Island is damaged and the fish consumed by residents are polluted with heavy metals.

On land, the company’s activities are so close to the settlements that residents are forced to deal with the dust and noise dirtying the environment. In the dry season, kitchen equipment, dining tables, chairs, floors, and rooms are covered with dust from company activities and coal burning.

According to villagers and officers at the Kawasi midwifery clinic, acute respiratory infection (ARI) is the most pressing health concern in Kawasi, impacting mostly toddlers. There were 124 patients aged 0-1 years treated by the midwifery from January to December 2021. With 283 toddlers aged 1-5 years, followed by 179 patients aged 20-44 years old treated in the same period.

Harita Group’s operations also violated the K3 (workplace security) aspect of its workers. Throughout 2022, the mining and mineral processing sector dominated the number of accidents in North Maluku, especially those belonging to the Harita Group. Based on media reports, between 2019-2023, 8 cases were recorded with 2 deaths and 5 injuries. This fact refutes Harita Group’s claim that there were no fatalities due to work accidents in their operation.

The nickel mining operations of Harita Group also heavily utilized coal energy through their subsidiary PT. Halmahera Persada Lygend (HPL), with a coal plant with a total capacity of 210 MW. PT HPL is a collaboration between the Harita Group and Ningbo Lygend from China, which has around 2,030 MW of coal plants in the development and pre-permitting process. The company is also aiming to develop 4,200 MW of coal energy to operate on Obi Island. This plan violates the commitment of the President of China, Xi Jinping, who in 2021 promised not to build new coal plants overseas.

“In spite of all the environmental and societal damages done by the Harita Group, this company is underwritten by Credit Suisse Group, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Mandiri Sekuritas, DBS, OCBS Securities, and UOB Kay Hian. Six of these underwriters, except Mandiri Sekuritas, are members of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance. Their collaboration with the Harita Group certainly undermines the commitment of GFANZ itself in achieving zero-emission targets and supporting a just clean energy transition,” said campaigner Novita Indri from Trend Asia.


Harita Group Factsheet (https://s.id/HaritaGroupFactsheet)

JATAM Report “Electric Vehicle Dirty Roads (https://www.jatam.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/HARITA_REPORT-JATAM2023.pdf)