5 Jul 2006

Indonesian mining watchdog says Freeport is having increasingly negative social impact

6:12 pm on 5 July 2006

Indonesia's Mining Advocacy Network says the Freeport McMoran copper and gold mine in Papua is having an increasingly negative impact on local people.

The Network's executive director, Siti Maimunah, says the mine should shut down at least temporarily to allow the government to review the impact of its operations.

Ms Maimunah dismisses the notion that the Grasberg mine has brought any welfare to the province or local people in Timika.

She says that Freeport dumps unacceptable levels of toxic waste in local rivers and contributes to human rights violations because it pays Indonesian military forces for security.

Ms Maimunah questions why Papuans continue to live in abject poverty while Freeport earns massive wealth for Indonesia.

"There is evidence that freeport is against interim regulation. For example, they don't have permits to dump their acid waste from the mine; human rights violations; and also the health problem is increasing - for example HIV/AIDs is the number one patient account in Timika."

Siti Maimunah of the Mining Advocacy Network