The invitation to be a speaker on #Building Good Through Social Media which was held at the UISI (Semen Indonesia International University) campus on April 11, 2019 made me set foot in Gresik for the first time. Wow, this campus is really cool because the building occupies a former cement factory! The interior is very Instagramable , especially the cute library (especially the book series “ The Naked Traveler ”)! After walking around I became more curious and asked to be taken for a walk to the real factory.

One corner of the UISI campus

Gresik is famous for being the site of the first Indonesian cement factory since 1957 and the forerunner of the largest cement company in Indonesia. All this time I knew “Semen Gresik”, but in fact since 2013 the company has changed its name to PT Semen Indonesia (Persero) Tbk . Its subsidiaries include Semen Padang, Semen Tonasa, Thang Long Cement Vietnam and Solusi Bangun Indonesia (ex Holcim). This state-owned company (State-Owned Enterprise) has its head office in Gresik, but it turns out that the largest factory is located in Tuban.


I also just learned that to make cement, the main ingredients are limestone and clay. Both materials are obtained from natural resource mining. The fusion of these two materials is carried out at the factory, so the two mines must be close to each other. Some of the green Gresik turned out to be former cement mines. Because it was no longer active, the mine moved to Tuban, which is a 2.5 hour drive from Gresik.

I was also invited to take a walk to the Arboretum (botanical garden) of Bukit Daun. It is called so because when viewed from above it looks like a leaf. This beautiful green garden covering an area of ​​one hectare contains rare plants, such as date palms, kawista, resin, agarwood, and ironwood. In front of it is the Herbal Hill Arboretum which contains a collection of medicinal plants, such as pepper, Dayak onions, galangal, red ginger, white turmeric, and yellow turmeric. There is also a Pruning Garden in the form of eucalyptus trees. The breeze and the sound of various wild birds add to the comfort of relaxing in the garden.

“Of the total 752 hectares of mining land, 200 hectares have been reclaimed. The rest is not yet because it is still functioning as a limestone mine,” explained Pak Eko Purnomo, Head of the Tuban Factory Land Reclamation Section. This environmentally friendly mining practice is what Semen Indonesia wants to show to the general public.

Every afternoon the park is crowded with local residents, ranging from groups of mothers who like selfies to young people who are dating. Sometimes groups of school children also come to study nature. All are free entry with opening hours from 15.00-17.00 on Monday-Friday and 08.00-17.00 on Saturday and Sunday. Information boards about plants and the importance of reforestation are displayed clearly so that everyone can get new knowledge.

From the Arboretum which is located on top of the hill, you can see from a distance the white land is like beach sand. It turned out to be the limestone quarry (top photo). Around it is overgrown with green forest that covers the factory and mine land. Pipes for transporting mining products and limestone crushing plants are barely visible because they are covered with trees. His voice wasn’t loud either.

Have a look at the Arboretum

The factory is identical to the dust coming out of a giant chimney, but I didn’t see any dust at all coming out of the Semen Indonesia factory in Tuban! “If there is dust, it means that something is wrong and must be repaired,” explained Pak Eko again.

Factory surrounded by forest

Not far from there, I was invited to a clay mining area. My reflection will be like in a dirty muddy pool, I don’t know, it’s very green and neat! The entrance road is very shady because it is overgrown with tall and large trembesi trees. That afternoon, many local youths were seen fishing in the surrounding ponds. It turned out that the pools were former clay mines!

The abundance of fish in the pond indicates that the former mine is very safe. This former mine is about 4-6 meters deep, the water is obtained purely from rainwater. This water is also used for irrigation to irrigate the surrounding rice fields. Previously, the rice fields were harvested only once a year, so it could be three times a year thanks to the flow of water from the reservoir. In addition, there are also nurseries and farms which will later be developed into edu-tourism areas.