According to a report by Antara on February 5, the Environment and Forest Ministry has stationed a team at bauxite mining sites in Bintan District for the investigation of alleged environment damage in the region.

The Environment and Forest Minister Siti Nurbaya said the team arrived at the spot on Tuesday, February 5, and would soon take legal measures.

Riau Islands Governor Nurdin Basirun, however, refused to comment on this, claiming that he had not received any information on environment damage in Bintan District as a result of bauxite mining in the region.

He particularly remarked on Monday, "I do not want to comment on this before I receive information from the related office. I will order the office to monitor the bauxite mining."

Antara reported that bauxite mining areas such as Dendang Island, Tembeling, Bekung, Gisi, Bunut Island, Koyang Island, Buton Island, Malin Island, Kelong Island, Mantang lama, and Tembora Island were found suffering serious environment damage.

Bauxite mining activities grew in those areas since the time when the Directorate General of Foreign Trade Ministry issued bauxite export license in 2017 to PT Gunung Bintan Abadi. The Riau Islands governor issued a mining license for the company, with a production quota of 1.6 million tonnes.

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