8 May 2008

Freeport to discuss community miners, following Papua landslide tragedy

10:39 am on 8 May 2008

Mining giant Freeport McMoran in Indonesia says it will work with the local government of Papua province to discuss community miners working in the area of it's huge Grasburg mine.

This follows a landslide in the Mimika area on Tuesday which local police say left at least twelve people dead and at least nine miners still missing.

The victims have been described as illegal community miners who were operating at a river within a concession mined by Freeport.

Freeport's operations at Mimika were reportedly unaffected by the disaster.

An Indonesia spokesperson for the US-based company said the victims are among thousands of locals who often pan for gold in the land without approval, ignoring demands that they cease the activity.

Various media reports put the number of missing bodies still to be retrieved from the landslide as high as fifteen.

Bad weather in the remote region has delayed efforts by police, security guards from Freeport Indonesia and local residents, to search for the other victims.