Bangka island produces currently one third of world’s tin, used widely in the electronics and IT industry by major brands. Electronics companies such as Apple, Samsung, Panasonic, LG Electronics and Sony obtain their tin from Bangka Island.
Informal miners sell their day’s findings on to middlemen, who also collect tin from miners working in official mines. There are mines in backyards, mines in the forest, mines on the side of the road, mines out at sea. Since national and international media has brought some attention to the dangerous tin mining procedure police is forced to stop the illegal tin mining. But police-corruption is high and many families earn a lot of money with tin. Bangka has more or less turned into one big mining pit. Off shore tin mining is also rampant. Suction ships and bucket dredgers are killing marine life and destroying coral reefs. Bangka used to be a beautiful island with white sand beaches, palm trees, coral reefs and everything which belongs to the cliché of a tropical island. But its beauty is nearly destroyed.