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Borneo, Environment, Indonesia

Australians to dig at heart of Borneo

Sydney Morning Herald, 13 April: Coal projects in Indonesia risk damage to one of the world’s great natural treasure troves.

BHP Billiton loading dock on Barito River: Jenny Denton

Australian companies are pushing ahead with plans to construct open-cut coalmines in a conservation area of Borneo described by the World Wildlife Fund as “one of the planet’s richest treasure troves”.

Brisbane-based Cokal announced it has secured funding to pursue its Bumi Barito Mineral joint venture, from which it plans to mine 200 million tonnes of coking coal over a 10-year period.

The BBM project, covering 15,000 hectares of forest, is one of five coalmines Cokal hopes to develop in the remote north of Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province, where it has permits covering 62,000 hectares of land, part of which falls within the boundaries of the Heart of Borneo – a 220,000 square kilometre area said to be the largest remaining expanse of trans-boundary tropical forest in Southeast Asia.

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