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Yufita Tuhuteru: Achieving Dreams Amidst the Glitter of Mining in Her Hometown

01 July 2023

Persistent, intelligent, and never give up. These three traits seem fitting to describe the character of Yufita Tuhuteru. As an Analyst at the Technology Department of PT Halmahera Persada Lygend (HPL), she has proven that local residents on Obi Island can achieve higher education and pursue a professional career in their hometown.

Yufita began her career journey at Harita Nickel by joining PT HPL through the Management Trainee program. It is a company program designed to identify and groom new talents for future managerial positions.

The 28-year-old woman from Soligi Village, a village within the operational circle of Harita Nickel on Obi Island, was initially assigned to the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). Due to her hard work and dedication, she was promoted to the position of WWTP Foreman after just one year. One of her responsibilities is to supervise the residue from the processing and refining of nickel using High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) technology, specifically dry tail.

From being a WWTP Foreman, Yufita now holds the position of Analyst in the Technology Department. Her daily tasks involve analyzing production samples to ensure the quality of the resulting products.

Yufita proudly expresses her satisfaction in being a part of Harita Nickel. Here, she can apply the knowledge she gained during her studies in Chemical Engineering at the Universitas Muslim Indonesia for her bachelor's degree (S1) and the same field for her master's degree (S2) at Universitas Gadjah Mada. Moreover, as a local resident, she can contribute to the development of her region.

"It's a personal pride to contribute to Harita Nickel, the first company that produces raw materials for electric vehicle batteries in Indonesia. Considering the many new technologies used here, such as the HPAL process and nickel sulfate processing, there is certainly a lot to learn," she says proudly.

Yufita has a big dream of promoting better access to quality education for the people of Obi Island. She also hopes that the youth in her region have a strong desire to learn so that they can excel academically and professionally.

In her opinion, career opportunities for local youth in Obi Island, and generally in North Maluku as one of the regions with the largest nickel reserves in Indonesia, are widely open. Moreover, the company she works for prioritizes hiring local residents. Out of more than 13,000 workers on-site, over 50 percent come from North Maluku.

However, this avid reader of journals during her spare time also acknowledges that the youth in North Maluku still lack skills.

"The youth in Obi Island, especially in fields like chemical engineering, civil engineering, or metallurgical engineering, have very limited education and skills. I have conveyed this to local community groups and also to the company management, urging them to provide opportunities for non-skilled youth in North Maluku. They should be given training to develop their skills," she explains.

Yufita has proven that limitations should not hinder someone from achieving their goals. Despite being born in one of the Least Developed, Frontline, and Outermost (3T) regions in North Maluku, she managed to attain higher education up to the master's level and apply her knowledge by pursuing a career in the largest electric vehicle battery material-producing company in Indonesia, which operates adjacent to her hometown.

"Young people must be productive, innovative, and capable of competing positively in every job we undertake," she concludes.

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