East Kalimantan's abandoned mines bring risks and rewards

Govt plans to turn 'death trap' pits into facilities, agritourism sites for communities

Indonesian rice farmer Misidi squats on the edge of a massive open-pit coal mine north of East Kalimantan's capital of Samarinda and watches helplessly as dozens of excavators dig and scoop up earth and rocks from what used to be his neighbours' houses and farms.

They have all left the Buana Jaya village in Mulawarman district to escape the dirt, dust and unbearable noise from the mining activities.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2020, with the headline 'E. Kalimantan's abandoned mines bring risks and rewards'. Print Edition | Subscribe