24 Mar 2006

Indonesia warns US mine company of legal action

10:26 am on 24 March 2006

Indonesia is warning of legal action against a huge US-owned mine in Papua province, unless it does more to protect the environment following an environmental report.

The Grasberg gold and copper mine has been the focus of protests by locals, who say it causes ecological damage but has little economic benefit for them.

Four policemen and a soldier were killed in riots at the mine last week.

The report came hours after a landslide at the mine killed three people.

Mining can potentially trigger land slips.

Several other people were injured in the accident, in which tonnes of mud crashed through a cafeteria in the mine complex.

The government's warning to Freeport was sparked by an environmental audit carried out on behalf of the Indonesian administration.