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Project January 8, 2024

Illegal Gold Mining in Kerinci Seblat National Park



This project reveals the actors of illegal gold mining: local businessmen in Merangin Regency and Merangin Regency DPRD members who are financiers of illegal gold mining.

Villagers who have been controlled by illegal gold mining actors in Kerinci Seblat National Park have acted anarchically. They blocked the national road, the only access to Kerinci-Merangin, to undermine law enforcement. The police were forced to release a number of illegal gold miners who were arrested because the community's roadblocks had caused congestion and cut off access to land transportation.

Tracing the gold supply chain, the illegal mercury trade, and illegal oil trade exposes the environmental crimes that are destroying national parks. Illegal gold mining activities also damage forest biodiversity by removing natural food sources for tigers and rare birds. Gold mining using heavy equipment has caused massive animal migration. The sound of heavy equipment above 100 decibels with an intensity of more than eight hours a day in the forest has exceeded the noise-tolerance limit accepted by animals.

Illegal gold mining activities have also led to the loss of endemic trees and contaminated the river with mercury. Mercury released into the river due to illegal gold mining activities threatens millions of people who depend on the Batanghari River.

Illegal gold mining activities within the Kerinci Seblat National Park have angered the Muaro Langkap Indigenous community. They believe the illegal gold mining site is a sacred area, which should not be exploited by humans.