[Jakarta, January 7th , 2022] Yesterday, Thursday (06/01/2022), President Jokowi announced the revocation of 2,078 Mining Business Licenses (IUPs) in Indonesia. The IUP revocation was motivated by the fact that IUP holders never submitted a work plan, even though the license had been granted for years. President Jokowi also claimed, if the revocation of those IUP was related to the efforts of the government to continue improving natural resource governance, so that there will be equality, transparency, and justice to correct inequalities, injustice and damage.

President Jokowi’s step to revoke thousands of mineral and coal mining licenses is nothing to appreciate, considering that apart from not being based on and not touching IUP holders committing environmental and humanity crimes, it will only open up new exploitation spaces which will give an impact on the acceleration and expansion of environmental damage on the entire archipelago in Indonesia.

Besides, the policy of revocation of those mining licenses by President Jokowi also does not touch companies holding KK and PKP2B which have had real bad track records all this time. As an example, PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC), the largest coal mine in Indonesia which is currently connected to Bakrie, a Golkar official, forced the Dayak Basap residents to move to Keraitan Village in Bengalon by intimidation. PT KPC is also known to be mining a public road on the Bengalon-Sangata connecting road which is legally not allowed. In fact, the contract of PT KPC has expired on December 31st, 2021, but its field activities are still continued to this day.

Apart from PT KPC, PT Adaro Indonesia is also recorded to have seized the communal land of residents in Kasiau Village, Tabalong Regency, South Kalimantan. This giant coal mining company owned by the Thohir family has also been caught in a tax evasion case and is one of companies that cause severe floods in South Kalimantan every year. In addition to the Thohir family, another name that has been recorded as a shareholder in PT Adaro Indonesia is Sandiaga Uno, a former vice president candidate in the 2019 election who now serves as Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy.

There is also PT Multi Harapan Utama (MHU) which in 2016 was found to have committed acts of violence in the form of stabbing a lawyer, OS, and a member of the TNI with a major rank, CHK. The conflict is thought to be due to a land dispute. This case is not the first dark track related to PT MHU. JATAM recorded cases of children dying in PT MHU mining pits in Kutai Kartanegara in 2015 and a series of intimidation to violence against residents and anti-mining activists in 2016. Airlangga Hartarto, a Golkar official who now serves as Coordinating Minister of Economy, previously served as a commissioner at PT MHU. Apart from Airlangga, Sandiaga Uno was also recorded to have been a commissioner at PT MHU in 2018.

Likewise, Toba Bara’s subsidiary, PT Adimitra Baratama Nusantara, which mining activities caused residents’ houses to collapse in Kukar, East Kalimantan in November 2018. Toba Bara is a group of companies engaged in energy and mining sectors, and known to be associated with the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investments , Luhut Binsar Panjaitan.

In addition to being based on traces of corporate crimes, license revocation must also target mining companies operating in disaster-prone areas. JATAM recorded that at least 783 IUPs were located in disaster-prone areas spread across various regions in Indonesia.

Likewise, mines located in forest areas, which in 2019 alone, there were 2,196 IUPs operating in forest areas. Not yet mentioning the group of companies that left mining pits without reclamation and had drowned many children.

JATAM suspects that the revocation of thousands of mining licenses is part of an effort to consolidate mining companies and to accelerate the dredging of mining commodities. Instead of being based on preserving the environment, protecting the rights of residents and evaluating the chaotic process of mining licenses, the revocation of these licenses is clearly meant to speed up dredging at mining sites. Furthermore, there is a guarantee that the licensing process will be shorter and easier for companies willing to enter those revoked concessions.

Mining business actors in the current government circle should also be suspected of being the most benefited party in revoking these mining licenses. This is inseparable from the various regulations that have emerged recently providing many fiscal and licensing incentives, such as the Revision of the Mineral and Coal Law and the Job Creation Law, which will provide a red carpet for mining oligarchs in the circle of power to enter and to take over the concessions of those thousands of licenses that have been revoked by President Jokowi yesterday.


Contact person:


Melky Nahar – 0813-1978-9181

Muh Jamil – 0821-5647-0477

Ki Bagus – 0857-8198-5822