Tin mining is a profitable but damaging trade that has scarred the Indonesian island of Bangka, a granite outcrop just east of Sumatra, reports English newspaper The Guardian.
Indonesia is currently the world’s largest exporter of tin and thermal coal as well as the biggest producer of mined nickel. But, according to the article, the cost the country is paying is way higher than the benefits it gets, as the tin industry in particular “has wrecked the environment and claimed dozens of lives every year.”
Experts believe there is hope for a better future after the announced changes to Indonesia’s mining legislation. On Thursday, the country’s Constitutional Court gave greater power to local administrations to assign areas for mineral extraction and exploitation, by modifying some articles in the 2009 Mining Law.
The ruling will make local administrations consult with the parliament in deciding areas for mining, which will increase regulation on the industry.
Indonesia's reputation as a foreign investment has worsened considerably this year, with a wave of resource nationalism leading the government to forcibly seize majority stakes in mining sector joint ventures.