Batangtoru, 8 March 2023 – PT Agincourt Resources (PTAR), the operator of Martabe Gold Mine inaugurated the open hall of SMAN (Public Senior High School) 1 Batangtoru, South Tapanuli, on Monday, 6 March 2023 through the signing of the inscription by PTAR General Manager Operations Rahmat Lubis, Principal of SMAN 1 Batangtoru Zuhdi Pulungan, and the Branch Head of North Sumatra Region XI Education Office Sakty Siregar. PTAR disbursed a budget amounting to IDR 732 million to build this hall facility, which had been handed over to the North Sumatra Provincial Education Office, represented by the Branch Head of Region XI Education Office, and will be used as a means of supporting learning and improving the quality of human resources.
PTAR General Manager Operations, Rahmat Lubis, said the company is firmly committed to expanding access to quality education and accelerating the provision of education services through various programs, one of which is improving school facilities and infrastructure. SMAN 1 Batangtoru became one of the targets as the school, which was established in 1983, is the only senior high school in Batangtoru and Muara Batangtoru Districts. The current number of students is 638 people.
“We want to do as much as possible in the education sector. The building of the hall is a small part of our contribution in advancing the world of education in Batangtoru and Muara Batangtoru. It is hoped that this hall can make teenagers more comfortable and focus on living their day at school,” said Rahmat.
The hall covering an area of 160 square meters was built within 3 months by PTAR through a local contractor who was selected through a tender process. After the handover of the hall, the management, maintenance and utilisation of the hall fully become the responsibility of SMAN 1 Batangtoru.
“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to contribute. Please invite us again if there are creative ideas that can have positive effects since to us, it is important to ensure that today’s students are more advanced than previous generations,” said Rahmat.
PTAR has a strong commitment in the sector of education as stated in the 2021 Community Development and Engagement Master Plan, following the implementation guidelines issued by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR). PTAR met this requirement through the development of a Community Development and Engagement Master Plan for the period 2018 until mine closure. One of the priority programs that must be implemented according to the Community Development and Empowerment Program (PPM) Master Plan is education, with a focus on increasing the acceleration of education quality and services.
The Branch Head of the North Sumatra Region XI Education Office, Sakty Siregar, expressed his appreciation for PTAR’s contribution in the form of SMAN 1 Batangtoru hall which can be used as a means for students to develop themselves.
“This building must be maintained. We also need to be part of history by producing works from the use of this hall. So, do not only sit in the hall, but there must be works or outcomes from this hall which has been built by PTAR,” said Sakty.
Formulate PPM with the Regency Government and Community
In formulating PPMfor the 2023 Fiscal Year which is aligned with the development goals and programs of the South Tapanuli Regency Government, Batangtoru and Muara Batangtoru Districts and directly affected community in late January, PTAR held a workshop with the South Tapanuli Regency Government. A total of 56 representatives from 21 Regional Apparatus Organizations (OPD) and relevant offices of the South Tapanuli Regency Government attended “Workshop on the Synchronization and Integration of PTAR and the South Tapanuli Regency Government PPM Programs.”
The workshop was officially opened by the Assistant I of the South Tapanuli Regency Government Hamdan Zein Harahap, followed by the presentations by PTAR and the South Tapanuli Regency Government represented by the Head of Regional Development Planning, Research and Development Agency (Bappeda) Chairul Rizal Lubis of their respective programs. The workshop was also filled with discussion and question and answer sessions to discuss all proposals for program synchronization and collaboration and rounded off with a presentation of the workshop outcomes. In addition, PTAR collected inputs from the Government of Batangtoru and Muara Batangtoru Districts as well as community representatives from 15 Directly Affected Villages (DAV).
PTAR Community Senior Manager, Christine Pepah, said that the activity generated some inputs and program proposals which would be followed up with internal discussions to be finalized to PPM pillars.
“Several proposals that can be directly synchronized include those from the sectors of education, health, economic development, socio-culture, environmental management and infrastructure. We really appreciate suggestions from stakeholders and directly affected community, with the hope that they will be beneficial and meaningful to the community,” she said.
Proposals that will be further finalized include infrastructure for public facilities, places of worship, farmer and community access, clean water facilities, and irrigation. Meanwhile, in the health sector, there are suggestions for the prevention and treatment of stunting in the community, in environmental management sector, there are suggestions for developing and piloting community-based waste management, as well as in the sector of economic independence for MSME development and training.
Throughout 2022, PTAR has held at least 72 PPM activities, with the number of beneficiaries reaching 30,565. When compared to 2021, the number of the 2022 PPM beneficiaries increased by 47%.
The South Tapanuli Regency Government gave positive appreciation for the holding of PTAR PPM workshop and outreach. Head of South Tapanuli Bappeda, Chairul Rizal Lubis, said PTAR PPM is expected to be able to inject knowledge into villages so that villages are more adaptive in capturing opportunities for community empowerment.
“It is hoped that there will be a transfer of knowledge so that the existing knowledge in Muara Batangtoru and Batangtoru will increase, and when PTAR concludes its operational period, the community will be able to be independent and develop themselves,” said Chairul.
Batangtoru District Head, Mara Tinggi, also expressed a similar hope, emphasizing the need for the continuation of PPM carried out by PTAR, especially in MSME sector, physical infrastructure and village empowerment.
Meanwhile, Acting Assistant for General Administration of the Regional Secretariat of the South Tapanuli Regency Government, Sahrir Siregar, hopes that PTAR workshop with the South Tapanuli Regency Government can produce program priority scales that can be supported by PTAR and programs that can be implemented by the community.
“So, it really accommodates the needs of the community. It is not only oriented to desires, but also more to the needs of the community, especially the directly affected community of 15 DAVs, both in Batangtoru and Muara Batangtoru,” said Sahrir.
PTAR PPM contribution to the directly affected community can be measured academically through PTAR Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis study conducted by the Institute for Economic and Social Research, Faculty of Economics and Business of Universitas Indonesia(LPEM FEB UI)together with the Faculty of Economics and Business of Universitas Sumatera Utara(FEB USU) in 2015. The study, which highlighted the socio-economic conditions of the people in 10 directly affected villages, showed that Martabe Gold Mine made a substantial contribution to the economic growth rate in Batangtoru, South Tapanuli Regency and North Sumatra.
Research showed that from 2010 to 2015 PTAR contributed to the creation of household income in South Tapanuli Regency of up to IDR 400 billion or around IDR 66 billion per year and succeeded in creating job opportunities for around 2,211 people per year. Meanwhile, PTAR’s total contribution to the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of South Tapanuli reached IDR 1.24 trillion and IDR 4.7 trillion to the GRDP of North Sumatra for the 2010-2015 period. In addition to contributions in the economic and fiscal sectors, Martabe Gold Mine has contributed positively to improving the quality of health services, education, training and capacity building for farmers, women and youth as well as infrastructure development in 15 directly affected villages to improve access and quality of life of the community.