Sumbawa Vice President (VP) Jusuf Kalla on Wednesday (July 20) observed one of vital national assets that is Batu Hijau mining site in West Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara province, managed by PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT). In the brief visit, the Vice President met NNT management to talk and convey a number of directives.

President Director of PT NNT Rachmat Makkasau welcomed with enthusiasm the arrival of Vice President and expressed his happiness over the willingness to visit Batu Hijau mine.

“This is the first visit of the Vice President to this site since the Batu Hijau began operations in 2000, and we are very excited to be face to face and get referrals directly from him,” said Mr. Makkasau.

Since its inception in 2000, the Batu Hijau mine has contributed approximately 100 trillion rupiahs, which includes the payment of taxes and non-taxes, royalties, salaries of employees, purchase of goods and services within the country, as well as dividends for shareholders nationwide. In addition, PT NNT has also been carrying out CSR programs to improve the quality of life and well-being of communities around the mine with the average fund reaches 50 billion rupiahs per year.

Through its five pillars of community empowerment, which consists of Health, Economics, Education, Culture and Environment, NNT has constructed irrigation facilities such as dams, reservoirs, and water facilities which has increased the income and welfare of farmers particularly in West Sumbawa regency.

“We have also developed a home-based industry to utilize coconut fibers into a web of erosion control [coconet] for reclamation. We have also provided scholarships for students of West Sumbawa,” said Rachmat.

NNT is a copper and gold mining company that operates based on the fourth generation contract of work signed on December 2, 1986.

“Approximately 7,000 employees work at Batu Hijau today. Of these, more than 99 percent are local employees, and less than 1 percent are foreign contract workers,” said Rachmat.

For the long term (2016 – 2038), Rachmat continued, NNT is carrying out several programs to meet an access to four basic facilities namely electricity, water supply, infrastructure, and health services. The company, he added, will also develop sustainable agro-industry, and promotion and development of the tourism sector, including in the former mining areas.

Also attending the event were Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basoeki Hadimoeljono, Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education Mohamad Natsir, Head of Vice President’s Office Mohamad Oemar, and Deputy to the Vice President on Human Development and Equitable Development Bambang Widianto. (KIP, Setwapres)