In four years, nickel mining in North Konawe expanded to 10,000 hectares. More than 83 percent of nickel mining cleared natural forests in the district. Of that total, about 5 hectares of mining is without a permit from the Ministry of Forestry. PT Antam's concession of 16 thousand hectares is also opaque. More than 48 million metric tons of illegal nickel worth Rp 36 trillion from Antam's concessions were sent to Chinese smelters in Morowali and Morosi. The illegal nickel was laundered using false documents. Officials are supporting illegal mining there. The rise of illegal mining revives the local economy even though the community realizes that the environment is damaged. This coverage is a collaboration between Tempo Magazine and Greeen Peace Indonesia, with support from the Pulitzer Center's Rainforest Investigations Network.
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