Papua Governor calls on ESDM Minister to halt Wabu Block licensing

Wabu Block
Wabu Block- Jubi Infographics

Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Governor Lukas Enembe has demanded Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Arifin Tasrif halt all administrative processes for the Special Mining Business Permit to Wabu Block gold mines in Intan Jaya Regency.

Head of the Papua ESDM Agency Fred James Boray confirmed that the Governor had submitted the request through Governor’s Letter No. 540/2044/SET dated February 18, 2022. The screenshot of the letter circulated on social media recently.

According to Boray, Enembe’s request to halt the licensing of the Wabu Block was based on the escalated conflict in Intan Jaya. “Mining must comply with regulations, guarantee security, and must obtain informed consent from everyone that will be impacted by the activity. If the community does not accept mining activity, it certainly won’t work,” said Boray when contacted by Jubi via phone call on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

Boray said the Governor did not want any investment to cause problems or make certain areas in Papua unsafe. “The recommendations for support to Wabu Block have indeed been given but because the situation in the Wabu Block area is not conducive now, the Governor issues a letter requesting to review and postpone the licensing of Wabu Block,” he said.

In his letter, Lukas Enembe stated that the Papuan Provincial Government needed mining investment to accelerate regional development. However, mining activities are capital-intensive, technology-intensive, and high-risk, thus requiring legal certainty and security for mining activities to be carried out properly. Enembe said that up until now, the situation in the Wabu Block and Intan Jaya has not been safe, especially for the communities living there.

“So we ask the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to halt the licensing of the Wabu Block to create safety and security for the local community,” said the Governor in the letter. (*)

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