Police seal coal mining area in Indonesia over dispute
Indonesian police have sealed a coal mining area in Hajran village in Batang Hari regency, Jambi, Indonesia, over a dispute between coal miner PT Kurnia Alam Investama (KAI) and mining service company PT Pelabuhan Universal Sumatra (PUS).
According to a report by The Jakarta Post, Jambi Police general crimes investigator Adjutant Commander Amin Nasution says that the police have closed a number of mining locations in the area due to civil and criminal disputes reported by PUS against KAI
“PT PUS alleges that PT KAI unilaterally terminated its contract, among other criminal allegations,” Amin says, adding that police are currently in the process of investigating the case.
According to PUS executive manager Yusuf Badri, in 2018, the company signed a 10-year contract with PT Universal Support and PT Bumi Bara Makmur Mandiri and its affiliate KAI, which served as the holder of mining licenses.
Yusuf explains that his company had acquired 50 hectares of land for mining in February 2020, in accordance with the work plan and budget document approved by the Jambi Energy and Mineral Resources Agency. The agreement states that KAI will carry out mining activities, with Universal Support working as the contractor on the land.
“PT Universal Support has built the infrastructure and has now entered the production stage. However, after two years, PT Bumi Bara Makmur Mandiri and PT KAI have ended the contract without any clear reason. Many workers have lost their jobs because of this situation," he says.
PUS has also reported KAI for its alleged failure to meet the legal obligations for work in two other locations, the report adds.
It also quotes KAI head of engineering Tonni Budihartono as saying that the 50 hectares of land under PUS were not mentioned in the work plan.
"The mining area that we are working on is based on the revised version [of the work plan]," Tonni states.
Global iron ore production to recover by 5.1% in 2021
Global iron ore production fell by 3% to 2.2bnt in 2020. Global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to 2,663.4Mt between 2021 to 2025. The key contributors to this grow will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%). Key upcoming projects expected to commence operations include South Flank in Australia (2021), Zulti in South Africa (H2 2021), Serrote Da Laje in Brazil (H2 2021) and Gudai-Darri (2022), according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2Mt in 2019 to an estimated 591.1Mt in 2020. The reduced output from the iron ore giant, Vale, was the key factor behind Brazil’s reduced output, while delays in the auctioning of mines in Odisha affected India’s output in 2020.
“Miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to effective measures adopted by the Australian Government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron ore output.”
Looking ahead, the global iron ore production is expected to increase by 111.3Mt to 2,302.5Mt in 2021. Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340Mt of iron ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245–255Mt, supported by the start of the Samarco project in December, which is expected to produce between 1–2Mt.The company has retained its guidance for Australian mines at 276–286Mt on a 100% basis, due to scheduled maintenance work at its ore handling plant and tie-in activity at the Area C mine and South-Flank mine.
Bajaj added: “The remaining companies are expected to produce more than 600Mt of iron ore, including FMG, whose production is expected to range between 175–180Mt supported by its Eliwana mine that commenced operations in late December 2020, and Anglo American, which is expecting to produce between 64–67Mt. Vale is expected to resume 40Mt of its production capacity, taking its overall production capacity to 350Mt in 2021, with production guidance of 315-335Mt.”