This study aims to understand the process, structure and determinants of persistent illegal gold mining in Indonesia.
An exploratory study included a literature review, field observations and in-depth interviews. Fieldwork was conducted at two mining locations in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Sixteen respondents representing key stakeholders: government, mining companies, mining associations and community, including illegal miners, were interviewed. The findings of the literature review were categorized as the push or pull factors within the topics, and field observations verified the literature review results regarding Indonesia. Interview data were analyzed using content analysis methods. A structural diagram of the actors and causal loop diagrams among the determinants of illegal gold mining was created and interpreted.
A complex activity process and structure were revealed involving a range of actors. Politicians, government officials and law enforcement authorities added the complexity to the structure. Six main determinants of persistent illegal gold mining emerged: financial, low entry barrier, regulations and policies, supporting resources availability, politics and power and psychosocial factors.
This study provides a deeper understanding for policymakers to consider when formulating policies on natural resources, and insights for mining companies to minimize conflicts with the community.
The study contributes to our knowledge of the complex structure and main determinants of illegal gold mining in Indonesia, which supports efforts to curtail this illegal activity.