Results of 2012 Buyat Bay Monitoring by Independent Scientific Panel
Parameters of Buyat Bay Marine Environmental Quality Meet Nationally and Internationally Applicable Standard
“6th Buyat Bay Findings of Independent Scientific Panel Consistent with 2007 – 2011 Monitoring Results”
Manado, 18 May 2013 – Buyat Bay Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) today presented its 6th Buyat Bay environmental monitoring results (2012) in an Annual Public Exposure (“Public Exposure”). ISP has conducted its environmental monitoring in 6 consecutive years since 2007.
ISP was established to observe and analyze the data produced from the 10-year monitoring program to determine the quality of the marine environment adjacent to PTNMR’s tailings placement area in Buyat Bay and review any potential impacts that might arise on the communities, the environment, and health in the future. The monitoring is conducted 2 a year. As such, up to 2012 11 (eleven) surveys have been conducted in Buyat Bay. Results of the ISP monitoring has been coordinated directly the State Ministry of Research and Technology and presented transparently to the public every year.
The members of ISP consisting of experts in the fields of environment, marine, and public health have reported results of the 2012 monitoring as follows:
- The parameters of sea water quality measured in all stations in 2012 in general meet the quality standard of sea water and sea biota (KEPMEN LH 51 – 2004). Results of the observation in 2012 are consistent with those conducted between 2007 and 2011 that the metal contents in sea water at Buyat bay meet the environmental standards. The 2012 data show that there is a non permanent stratification in water column, where the layer near the surface has higher temperature and low level of salinity. The gradient of the temperature changes varies and the transition zone is not permanent and is found at a depth between 35 – 75 meters.
- The concentrations of arsenic and mercury in the sediment in all stations vary; their concentrations in the shallow area stations tend to be lower indicating that tailings are not distributed to shallow waters. This is supported by data showing that the water quality is within the quality standard.
- All fish samples taken in 2012 and 2007 – 2011 from Buyat Bay are not different from those taken from the reference areas far from Buyat Bay. Specifically, all samples are within the quality standard applicable in Indonesia, as stipulated by WHO Food Commodity Health Standard.
- Several groups of macro benthic such as polychaeta and arthropods found in the monitoring sites consistently from 2007 to 2012 showed that the environmental condition at Buyat Bay was relatively stable. Areas at Buyat Bay into which tailings were placed for 8 years (1996 – 2004) during the mining period of PTNMR have naturally been colonized by macro benthic.
- Results of the monitoring conducted in May and September 2012 using Manta Tow and LIT (Line Intercept Transect) techniques for Buyat Bay and Buyat Strait locations near PTNMR’s tailings placement areas show that the tailings placement area was in good condition with a cover percentage between 30 – 60% or in the categories of 3 and 4 (KepmenLH No. 4/2001) which is classified to be good. The coral reef community is very productive. In terms of the total number of fish communities, the 2012 survey showed an increasing trend compared with the previous year.
Results of the environmental monitoring up to 2012 in Buyat bay showed that the parameters of the environmental quality meets the nationally and internationally applicable standards; the contents of arsenic and mercury in fish in Buyat Bay and reference sites do not show any risk to human health; and the quality of coral reefs and macro benthic improved in 2012 compared to the previous years. The Buyat Bay monitoring program will be continued until 2015 to study the stability of tailings and monitor the quality of the environment.
In the Public Exposure today, State Minister of Research and Technology Prof. Dr. Ir. H Gusti Muhammad Hatta, MS gave his remarks on Results of 2012 Buyat Bay Environmental Monitoring – ISP. The Minister expressed his appreciation to Buyat Bay ISP and PTNMR for their work and commitment in monitoring the environment in Buyat Bay. He said that results of the monitoring show that the quality parameters of the Buyat Bay marine environment are within the standard quality applicable.
“We welcome the results of the 6th ISP monitoring showing consistency since the first year. The report is also consistent with results of the monitoring conducted by PTNMR since the commencement of the operating period in 1996,” said David Sompie, President Director of PTNMR.
David said, “Newmont’s commitment to the environment to ensure that Buyat Bay is safe and is not polluted is in line with results of the environmental monitoring conducted by ISP. This is also in line with the company’s vision to demonstrate leadership in safety, stewardship of the environment and social responsibility.”
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