BANGKA, Jun. 3 -- The government of Indonesia's main tin-producing Bangka-Belitung province plans to stop small traditional miners within the next four years to slow destruction of the island's environment. The restriction on traditional tin mining may not affect tin production from Indonesia, as production from bigger miners such as PT Timah and PT Koba Tin would remain, Governor Eko Maulana Ali told Reuters.
"Traditional tin mining has been expanding. Farmers and fishermen have now switched to mine tin," he said. "Looking at the damage they have caused on the environment, we are working on a strategy to stop all traditional mining by 2015," he said. The provincial government would help traditional miners to switch to other work in tourism, agriculture, fishing, plantations and other industry, he added.
No details of planned restrictions on small-scale mining have been made known, although observers note that there is a continuing natural decline in production from this sector due to the exhaustion of easily accessible mining areas.