Police say workers from Indonesia and China have died as workers protest at a smelter on the island of Sulawesi.
According to police, two people were killed in a clash between workers at a nickel smelter owned by a division of the Chinese company Jiangsu Delong Nickel Industry Ltd on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia.
Central Sulawesi police spokesman Didik Supranoto said on Monday that Indonesian and Chinese workers were killed in a clash that erupted after a protest organized by a work group at the PT Gunbuster Nickel Industry (GNI) smelter.
Local media reported that the protesters demanded better security conditions and wages.
According to Didik, several company cars were burned, about 100 rooms in workers’ dormitories were damaged, and 71 people were detained.
Operations at GNI are currently on hold, Didik added. He did not say when they would resume.
GNI said in a statement that the company and police are investigating the incident.
“The company, together with representatives of law enforcement agencies, immediately began an in-depth and thorough investigation of incidents that caused damage to all parties, both material and non-material losses, and even death,” the message says.
GNI launched the smelter at the end of 2021 with an annual capacity of 1.8 million tons and a total investment estimated at $2.7 billion.
Violent protests have flared up from time to time in the mineral-rich region of Sulawesi, which has recently seen an investment boom in nickel following an increase in demand for its use in electric vehicle batteries.
Credit: www.aljazeera.com /