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Lombok's Poisoned Gold

1 x 48 HD
Broadcaster:  CNA

Indonesia's paradise island of Lombok, popular with tourists for its natural beauty, is hiding a dirty secret. As visitors surf and snorkle, thousands of informal miners descend deep down dangerous shafts in search of gold. Once found, the gold is extracted using mercury, a deadly element that is poisoning its most vulnerable residents and causing irreversible environmental harm.


This scene is recurring throughout Indonesia, Asia’s largest gold producer, where informal gold mining is a crucial source of income for hundreds of thousands. This hard-hitting Undercover Asia special reveals the shocking scale of Indonesia’s multi-million dollar trade in mercury whose toxic side-effects are leading to increased rates of children born with life-changing defects throughout the archipelago state. Meeting the miners and the people fighting for change, viewers are taken deep into the illicit mines and camps that have been hidden from public view.


With Indonesia bound by international agreements to stop mercury usage by 2025, is enough being done to hit that target? With a lack of economic alternatives for miners and endemic political corruption amongst the authorities, are these obstacles surmountable on the path to reach a safer and more sustainable gold trade?


From Series 10 of the award-winning Undercover Asia.

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