A gold mining and exploration permit granted to an Australian mining company has been revoked by the government of Indonesia. The action was taken following violent protests against the project which included the burning of several government buildings.
The province of West Nusa Tenggara had granted the mining exploration rights to Arc Exploration, an Australian listed company and a local miner called Sumber Mineral Nusantara. The rights were for 250 square km of Sumbawa Island that is close to Bali.
In December last year protests got out of hand in the city of Bima and the police had to open fire to contain them. This firing resulted in the death of two people. This was followed by anti-mining protestors taking to the streets in thousands last week and burning government buildings.
Ferry Zulkarnain, the district head of Bima, said that they had decided to revoke the permit permanently for the sake of security and stability there. He added that they were ready to face any possible legal lawsuit that the mining companies filed against the revocation of the exploratory mining permit.
Arc Exploration has halted the early stage exploration activities that it was engaged in following the violence. It is as yet unclear what course of action the Australian listed company is going to take on the revocation of the exploratory permit.