Freeport: “working towards sustainable development”?

How to operate a US mining company with unrestrained ambitions in Indonesia – Part 2

The effects of the mountain activities of Freeport and Rio Tinto are obvious: the crater at the Grasberg and the waste deposits in the river runs are self-recognizable (Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. – Part 1). And not only: For years, the mine operators have regard to the use of the services of Indonesian army and police units as well as the way of dealing with indigenous population groups in criticism. But it stimulates resistance.

Freeport: 'Working Towards Sustainable Development'?

Satellite picture of the Grasberg mine. Photo: NASA

The company loves mileage, in places to build up to 20 meters high damme, which should help to better control the electricity of the worn rock. According to company constraints, this damme include 31.1 million cubic meters of earth. Newer satellite photos clearly made that the company also FULLT FLUSSE WESTER The Grasberg mine – outside the concession area.

Siddharta Moersjid, Speaker of PT Freeport Indonesia, explained to follow all government requirements through the government and to use them from their own castings for the protection of the environment. The Indonesian Ministry of Environment expects a departure from the waste disposal to river run, although Freeport is in the company’s own working Towards Sustainable Development Report 2004 concludes that this method is, compared to others, is alternative. Indonesia attracts a storage of the abstainest on land.

Freeport has so far provided $ 29 million to remedy the situation; For the restoration of the landscape, a sum of $ 100 million was promised when the mine is one day. Freeport itself sees his receiving operations in accordance with the environmental legislation of Indonesia – and, where applicable, with the "internationally best practices". The company has been certified in the last four years according to environmental management standard ISO 14001.

Not for the first time Freeport came into the headlines due to environmental descent. In 1995, the OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation), an export credit agency supported by the US Government, relyed on the environmental damage caused by Freeport’s mining activities in the rainforest area of the Ajkwa and Minajerwi Race of which 100 million US dollar risk insurance. For the first (and up to last) times, the OPIC had a insurance policy due to environmental concerns.

Freeport: 'Working Towards Sustainable Development'?

Strongly increased sediment freight of the Ajkwa river as a consequence of freeports ore demand. Photo: Oxford Papuan Rights Campaign

The role of the army

In July 2005, the London’s Human Rights Organization published Global Witness a report, the Freeport’s practice of direct GelDuepage to the corrupt Indonesian militar illuminated. According to Freeport information, between 2001 and 2002, $ 10.3 million for "security provided by the government" were issued – additional 35 million US dollars for house and bureaucers for Indonesian army-hearted after the outbreak of violent turmoil in 1996.

Between 1998 and 2004, Freeport paid nearly $ 20 million to militar and police salaries, as well as militar units. 200.000 US dollars went to the betrayed police unit "Mobile Brigade" (Brimob). According to Indonesian law, it is forbidden army officers to accept direct payments to them. If these allegations are confirmed, and the payments were not authorized by the Indonesian government, Freeport threatens a punishment after the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that puts the lubrication of foreign official punishable. Since 2003, the funds have been filled with units and no longer at individuals – Z.B. In 2003, a million US dollars went to the police, for "monthly additional payments, administrative costs and administrative support".

In very Indonesia, the militar partly finances itself on the construction and maintenance of businesses such as shopping centers, hotels or the illegal login; In the area of the Grasberg mine she acts as security service. Since the beginning of the Freeport operations, the Indonesian army has stationed a battalion from the Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) in the mining area – it should guard the company 100 kilometer pipelines between Gebrexberg and Harbor, where fuels and the copper and gold slumps are transported will.

No investigation could bring Freeport so far in connection with human rights violations – but the militar. From 1975 to 1997, 160 people should have been killed in the mining area and surroundings of the Army. In 2002, three of Freeport employees – including two US burger – have been killed in 2002; The FBI still determines.

Newmont Mining – a precedent for Indonesia?

In August 2005, the Indonesian government opened a trial against Richard Ness, a manager of the world-growing Goldfieler Newmont Mining Corporation for passing the environmental legislation of the country. In addition, the company was sued in August 2004 to $ 133.6 million in damages. Newmonts Minahasa Raya mine is said to pollute the Buyat Bay in the province of North Sulawesi with its lounger. Mining representatives believe that the case has been constructed and fired further processes of Indonesians to get more money. In November, the latter process was discontinued against Newport from "Technical Grounds"; An exercise court agreement was on 15. February 2006 announced. The indictment against Ness still exists, but Newmont has already announced bitter resistance.

Freeport was able to resist due to its finely woven, stately well maintained and opaque network from political and military threads growing pressure growing in 1998 in 1998 (Suharto was 100% involved in PT Freeport Indonesia).

The Grasberg mine after the landslide of 9.October 2003. Nine miners came to life, the narrator came to succumb. Photo: Mines and communities

And there are other prominent examples of coarse environmental desktops by mining operations in the archipelago. A certain degree of awareness gained z.B. The OK Tedi Mine in Papua New Guinea (the role of German companies, Z.B. North German affinity, Europe’s large copper producer based in Hamburg).

Ongoing protests

At the end of February 2006, violent student protests are left in front of the main bureaucing of PT Freeport Indonesia in Jakarta. At the same time, police units tried to distribute 400 "illegal" miners from the nightlust. These were looking for any adherent gold. Two guards were injured by arrow shot.

The miners who can see nothing illegal in their actions then started a blockade, the Freeport forced the production for four days. The locals demand a dialogue with the company. The United Front for the fight of the people of West Papua goes on and calls for the loider of the Freeport-Rio Tinto mine.

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