Gold mine threatens Tapanuli orangutans

A gold mine threatens Tapanuli orangutans in Batang Toru

The mine is owned by a UK firm and has led to the destruction of over 20 acres of forest since 2018.

While many people are aware of the threat to Tapanuli orangutans from the proposed Batang Toru hydrodam, this, tragically, is not the only obstacle to the species’ survival. The Telegraph newspaper recently reported on research from Mighty Earth which highlights the damage being done to the ape’s habitat by a UK-owned gold mine.

There are only 800 Tapanuli orangutans estimated to remain in the Batang Toru ecosystem – the only place in the world they exist. The Tapanuli orangutan’s habitat sits on a rich seam of gold, and this is being mined by Jardine Matheson, a UK firm who bought the local Martabe gold mine in 2018. Analysis from Mighty Earth and MapHubs shows that the mine has expanded since Jardine Matheson bought it, with over 20 acres of forest being destroyed since 2018.

Mighty Earth’s Great Apes Program Director, Amanda Hurowitz, has called on the firm to step in and prevent any further deforestation in Batang Toru, saying “This is an issue of corporate responsibility. You have a mine in the habitat of the most endangered species of great ape, they are our closest cousin.”

We continue to raise funds to protect the Tapanuli orangutan and its habitat. Please donate here.

Gold mine threatens Tapanuli orangutans

Zac Mills

An adult sumatran orangutan

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