The network was first established at a Mining Advocacy Workshop organized by WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan in 1995. The Workshop was attended by 45 participants from throughout the country, including representatives from NGOs like Taratak (West Sumatra), LPLH (Aceh), LEWIM (South Kalimantan) and Yayasan Tanah Merdeka (Palu). Four foreign NGO activists also attended this meeting. All participants shared a common awareness for the need of a network to conduct mining advocacy.

JATAM was formally established at a Repositioning Workshop in November 1999, in Tomohon, Manado, North Sulawesi. The workshop developed strategies to tackle mining advocacy and resulted in a position to call for an end to all new mining activities and urged the government of Indonesia to revoke all licenses already issued and to improve the existing mining policy. Further consolidation of the JATAM network occurred at JATAM’s recent national meeting in November 2003 in Ciloto, Bogor, West Java. This meeting resulted in a new mandate for JATAM to promote wise and fair management of Indonesia’s mineral and energy resources in order to meet the basic needs of the people while securing a resource that is sustainable for future generations.