Freeport looking for more minerals to extract from Papua

Grasberg mine
Image via Wikipedia
JUBI, 21 June 2011
A crater that is many metres wide and as deep as a three-storey house is to be found at Mile Post 74 within the area of the mining concession of Freeport-Indonesia(PTFI). Thousands of people working for Freeport say that they know nothing about the mining potential of this deep crater and what exactly Freeport intends to mine there.Some of the workers are quoted as saying: ‘The company is concealing information about the minerals it plans to mine. Some have mentioned copper but more recently mention has been made of gold, silver, iron,  and other minerals about which nothing has been reported officially.’ The workers believe that as many as nine new minerals are going to be mined there.As regards the natural resources now being researched, the crater is said to be much greater than the one dug for the Grasberg mine to the north.

One worker said that it is not only a question of nine more minerals being exploited by Freeport. As regards the geo-science potential from Papua, most of the minerals will be taken abroad. One worker who is familiar with the minerals in Grasberg said that it is only if the minerals are processed here and not taken abroad that we will be able to know what Freeport it intending to extract. ‘It is likely that the stuff will be taken abroad through pipes so that no one here knows what is there.

Another report from JUBI of the same day says that foreign investors are busy investigating what more they can take away from Papua. Freeport undertook a major research a while ago near Kampung Ugimba.

‘People from the company who work in Tembagapura have been seen frequently coming and going, and we have been told that there is uranium there.’

JUBI has been told that aerial surveying – aerogeophysics -has been used to survey the mineral  potential.

They have been using helicopters  to assess the uranium potential, he said. Once this has been ascertained, more conventional techniques will be used.

As yet, Freeport has said nothing about these searches. But for sure, the company has been undertaking many surveys in various parts of Papua.

(West Papua Media Comment:  At this time of great market uncertainty about uranium and the safety of nuclear power following the still ongoing Fukushima reactor disaster in Japan, it beggars belief that Freeport and its main shareholder, Rio Tinto, are conducting illegal (uncontracted) exploration for potential uranium deposits (of which there are large amounts around the Grasberg complex).  It is also very curious that this is the exact area that the unsolved shootings and bombings of Freeport workers has been occuring over the past two years, yet in an “unsecured” environment this exploration and processing has been able to occur.  If the Indonesian civilian government were to set up a National Audit of all Freeport activities, they would see clearly that the military-corporate collusion is reaping massive financial benefits, just not for either West Papua, nor Indonesian people.)

INDIGENOUS PAPUANS IN INTAN JAYA REJECT MINING OPERATIONS IN AGISIGA

JUBI, 10 February 2011

There are now reports that illegal mining is under way not only in the
Degeuwo Estuary but also in the Dogabu Estuary, in the district of
Intan Jaya, Papua.

The illegal mining is being carried out by groups that are unknown to
the local community or the local government.

‘The mining operations are being carried out without a licence from the
local government,’ said Agustinus Tapani, secretary of the Intan Jaya
Traditional Council. He said that the local community is the rightful
owner of the land and they firmly reject the presence of any companies or businesses in their area. ‘In any case, they have never agreed to surrender their land, nor have they issued any licences to others to operate there.’

Agus Tapani said that a number of mining operators are excavating
minerals and coal in West Papua, including in Degeuwo without licences either from the government or from the local communities. ‘Law No 4/2009 makes the position clear. Yet, many companies have bypassed these authorised mechanisms which have been laid down by the government,’ he said.

Speaking on behalf of the local DAP, Tapani said that all companies must abide by the provisions of the regulations. He called on the company now operating in Degeuwo to end their operations because the community in Intan Jaya is suffering as a result of these mining operations.

Agus Tapani who is also the secretary of the KNPI in Intan Jaya warned all companies which come to Papua and partiularly to Intan Jaya district to realise that they need to pass through three stages, the traditional community, the churches and the government.. The presence of mining companies in Agisiga can initiate a process that will damage the lifestyles of the entire community in Intan Jaya. He also called on the executive and legislative bodies to pay attention to this problem.

Although the identity of the company now operating in Intan Jaya is not known, JUBI understands that PT Freeport Indonesia is involved in explorations in a number of districts, including Sugapa, Ugimba, Mindau, Pogapa and the Dogabu Estuary, through its subsidiary company PT Mine Serve International.

 

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