EARTHWORKS

Weda Bay Nickel to be a bad Bank mine?

Scott Cardiff's avatar
By Scott Cardiff

July 12, 2010

The World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is considering providing a guarantee for support of a nickel mine in Indonesia that would destroy vast areas of tropical rain forest in the buffer zone of a National Park -- in an area that was previously nominated to be part of the National Park. And it would pollute rivers with large quantities of sediment and probably toxic waste drainage. And dump the processing waste water into the ocean at only 15m below the surface. In an area with coral reefs.

But that's not all! The project -- proposed by Eramet, Mitsubishi, and PT Antam -- would affect Forest Tobelo indigenous people that live in the area, probably forcing them to abandon use of those forest lands. Additional communities in the area could also see their livelihoods ruined.

The Bank is supposed to follow various policies that the project plans clearly violate based on water quality and biodiversity issues. The Bank board is scheduled to consider the project tomorrow, 13 July. We shall see.

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Tagged with: world bank, weda bay, protected area, performance standards, nickel, miga, indigenous, coral reef

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