Arfak Mountains Regency Government Pushes People's Gold Mining

The Regency Government (Pemkab) of Arfak Mountains, West Papua, encourages community mining to optimize the exploitation of the potential of gold in the area for the welfare of the community.

"The potential of gold mining in the Arfak Mountains in Menyambouw, Catubow, Testega, Didoh. Almost in all districts there is the potential of gold mining. For that it must be managed properly so that the community prosper," said Arfak Mountains Regent Yosias Saroi in Manokwari, Saturday (25 / 7/2020).

Regarding the plan, he said, the regional government has formed a team and prepared a budget to conduct surveys and studies. The study will be carried out thoroughly so that this mining does not cause environmental problems.

"The study of environmental impacts is very important. If not, environmental problems can arise. The impact is not only on the Arfak Mountains, but Manokwari and South Manokwari can also receive adverse effects," Saroi said.

He said the survey team would immediately come down to review the location. Survey activities will be carried out by air or directly down to the field.

"Furthermore, we will conduct a study of the results of the survey, from social to environmental aspects. If it can continue, we will submit a permit to the provincial government," he said again.

Saroi explained that community mining was chosen so that the community could receive the maximum benefit from the potential of gold in the area. On the other hand, managing people's mining permits is easier.

"For large scale mining that brings in investors, the permit must be from the central government. On the other hand the community does not receive direct benefits from the mining," he said.

In early June 2020 the Directorate of Criminal Investigation of the West Papua Regional Police arrested a syndicate of illegal gold miners in action in Menyambouw District, Arfak Mountains. Illegal mining is thought to involve large investors from outside the area.

"Things like this that we do not want. So we encourage community mining so that there are cooperatives that manage. Thus the sharing of results is clear, the people are not fooled but directly involved and receive greater results for their welfare," Saroi said.

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