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Social Investment

Tanam padi perdana dalam Program Pertanian Terpadu yang turut didukung PT Bumi Suksesindo di Desa Sumberagung, Banyuwangi. [Photo: M. Afan Arisandi/BSI]
Merdeka is committed to promoting sustainable development and contributing to the welfare of communities, especially those surrounding our mining operations, through collaboration with local governments and communities. Merdeka’s contribution to the community includes donations, sponsorships, research, training, and various sustainable social investments to build community capacity and self-reliance.

We realize that the presence of mining operations, apart from having a positive impact on the local economy, can create community dependence. Communities around mining operation areas that work outside the mining sector, such as agriculture, plantations, and fishermen often change professions. Therefore, one of our focus in social investment is to develop strategies for self-reliance by supporting traditional sectors to continue to grow and self-sustaining.

Merdeka sets out its social investment program in the Master Plan for Community Empowerment and Development (RI-PPM), which is implemented in three areas of Merdeka’s operations and projects: Banyuwangi Regency (Tujuh Bukit Gold Mine), Wetar Island (Wetar Copper Mine), and Pohuwato Regency (Pani Gold Project). Our Community Empowerment and Development programs are based on eight pillars from the operational stage to post-closure in accordance to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation Number 41, 2016 concerning Community Development and Empowerment in Mining and Mineral Businesses. The eight pillars are Education, Health, Real Income or Employment, Economic Independence, Socio-Cultural, Environment, Strengthening Community Institutions, and Infrastructure.

Merdeka Group’s total contribution to society in 2021 amounts to US$3.6 million. This contribution was made through the Community Empowerment and Development Program (PPM) by PT Bumi Suksesindo at the Tujuh Bukit Gold Mine (Banyuwangi, East Java), PT Batutua Kharisma Permai and PT Batutua Tembaga Raya (BKP-BTR) at the Wetar Copper Mine (Wetar Island, Southwest Maluku); and PT Puncak Emas Tani Sejahtera in the Pani Gold Project (Pohuwato, Gorontalo).

Construction of the 1.7 kilometer Rowojambe–Pulau Merah Road, part of the Bumi Suksesindo CED. [Photo: M. Afan Arisandi/BSI]
Surrounding the Tujuh Bukit Gold Mine operation area which is managed by PT Bumi Suksesindo (BSI), infrastructure development is still the largest portion of the total social investment.

The construction of the Pulau Merah–Rowojambe road in Pesanggaran, Banyuwangi, Java Jimur, will facilitate the flow of the economy, both agriculture, fisheries, and tourism to and from the Red Island and Mustika Beach tourism sites. Infrastructure support also includes the construction of bridges, repair of waterways, and community clean water sources.

In addition, BSI also pays special attention to the development of community-based tourism in Pulau Merah and Pantai Mustika. This community-based tourism will create income diversification for fishing communities and reduce economic vulnerability when fishermen cannot go to sea during the high Westerly winds season. Support for the provision of improved tourism facilities and group strengthening continues.

Another large portion of PPM in Banyuwangi is Education. The Education program consist amon other of provision of scholarships, support for honorary teachers, learning parks and the provision of school buses, and improvement of teaching and learning facilities. Meanwhile, the program for increasing real income to support people’s livelihoods focuses on strengthening community business groups, including farmers, fishermen, MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), and women entrepreneurs groups.

BSI also continues to support the training and mentoring to increase the capacity of MSME products and marketing. The UMKM Center in Sumberagung Village and online marketing have been used by home industry manufacturers to market their products.

Handing over of textbooks from BKP-BTR at schools on Wetar Island, Indonesia. [Photo: Solaiman Yunus/BKP-BTR]
Located on a remote island, the people of Pulau Wetar are quite dependent on the operation of the Wetar Copper Mine managed by PT Batutua Kharisma Permai and PT Batutua Tembaga Raya (BKP-BTR). Therefore, BKP-BTR prioritizes the Community Empowerment and Development Program (PPM) on increasing the capacity of the local workforce and business opportunities for the community in the two affected villages, Lurang and Uhak.

BKP-BTR absorbs agricultural and livestock production produced by the community to meet the consumption needs of employees and contractors, while continuing to provide assistance to improve the quality and quantity of production in an integrated and sustainable manner. All of this is done with full awareness that, if not done carefully, we can create community dependency. Therefore, BKP-BTR is also developing the production and marketing of Wetar wild honey and cashew nuts which are in high demand. In 2021, BKP-BTR has started the process of institutional strengthening, capacity building, and market research for honey and cashew products. This research will be completed in 2022 and carried out in the 2022 PPM Program.

Infrastructure, such as the provision of electricity and clean water also accounts for a large portion of PPM budget. BKP-BTR provides electricity and clean water for 236 families in Lurang Village and 98 families in Uhak Village. Likewise, the costs of supporting community institutions in Uhak and Lurang villages. Since 2021, BKP-BTR has placed field assistants to strengthen foundations in Uhak and Lurang villages, especially in terms of improving governance, administration and finance, planning programs, and independence.

The Community Empowerment and Development Program (PPM) in the Pani Gold Project area in Pohuwato, Gorontalo, in line with the project phase, are much lower than similar programs in Merdeka’s other operational areas. Throughout 2021, the Pani Gold Project is still in the preparation stage. Nevertheless, Merdeka has taken significant initial steps so that the future PPM program in this place is right on target and provides optimal benefits for stakeholders.  With the start of construction in early 2022, the Pani Gold PPM Program activities will also increase.

Sustainability Report

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