The Sumatra Miner conference and exhibition scheduled for this week in Palembang has been postponed owing to the toxic smoke caused by forest fires and a volcanic eruption on the island of Sumatra.

The smoke has paralysed the international airport in Palembang and created unhealthy air quality levels, particularly in South Sumatra. With these conditions showing no signs of abating for several weeks, Mining Media International (MMI), organisers of Sumatra Miner, have been left with no option other than to postpone the inaugural conference and exhibition.

MMI president Peter Johnson said: “Owing to the intense smoke and haze, organisers are extremely concerned about the health and welfare of visitors to the conference. Unfortunately, this left us with no other decision than postponement.

“These conditions caused by extensive and increasing forest fires, and exacerbated by a volcanic eruption in North Sumatra, are not within our control but our prime responsibility is to do what we can to ensure the safety and well-being of visitors to the conference.

“The conditions are not expected to clear until at least mid-November,” he added.

The event, which was scheduled for October 22-24 at the Aryaduta Hotel in Palembang, has been rescheduled for March 4-6, 2015, and will be held in conjunction with a Coal Club Indonesia network meeting.

Sumatra Miner organisers have contacted speakers, exhibitors and delegates to make appropriate arrangements in regards to the postponement.

For more information contact MMI Indonesia on +62 21 2940 6337 or email Dimas Abdillah at [email protected] or Lanita Idrus at [email protected]