Customary communities affirm their rights to land near Freeport Mine

JUBI, 11 November 2011Seven  customary communities living in the location of the Freeport-Indonesia PTFI mine have asserted their rights to land  in the location of the Freeport mine in a press release and called on the company to properly sort out the issue.

In a letter from the seven communities, co-ordinator the group, Markus Timang said:

‘We have read the Memorandum of Understanding between LEMASA (Customary Community of the Amungme people) and PTFI regarding human resources, social-economic resources, human rights, customary rights and the environment which was signed in New Orleans, USA on 13 July, 2000.’

In that agreement, the seven communities acknowledged the contemplations and discussions between the heads of the communities. With particular reference to Article 3 of the MoU regarding the rights and responsibilities of PTFI, the company acknowledged and respected the customary rights of the Amungme and Kamoro communities.

Timang said that  the communities have agreed that it is vital for the NKRI (Republic of Indonesia), the PTFI and the owners of the customary rights to ensure that all problems related to the PTFI should not be manipulated by elements who have no customary rights to the land. ‘It is our opinion that that the PTFI should not start reaching agreements about customary rights with persons who are not connected with the location. With regard to problems arising in connection with this land, the PTFI must make contact with those who are directly involved, including ourselves as customary owners of the land to ensure that the problem is properly, fairly  and justly handled.

In response to this affirmation, several customary community  leaders and social leaders in Timika have questioned why Markus Timang has issued such a statement without  reaching agreement with other, more elderly leaders. ‘We know nothing about all this. We need to have your confirmation whether indeed it was you who issued this statement,’ said Abraham Timang, executive assistant of LPMAK, the group responsible for managing the one-percent contribution from PTFI.

Furthermore, other customary leaders have raised questions with regard to community leaders who were involved in a joint agreement that was reached on 10 November this year.

Freeport Indonesia, Union Pay Talks Enter Third Day

Grasberg mine
Image via Wikipedia

JAKARTA, July 22 (Reuters) – Negotiations between Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold and its workers in Indonesia over pay entered the third
day on Friday, industry sources said, as the mining giant reported
losses of copper and gold after a strike at its massive mine.

Chief executive Richard Adkerson said on Thursday the aggregate impact
of production lost during an eight-day strike at the Grasberg mine in
Papua province was 35 million pounds of copper and 60,000 ounces of

Adkerson also said the strike, which ended on July 13 and production
resumed a day later, led to a temporary suspension of all mining,
milling and concentration shipments from the mine.

“The talks are ongoing but the details are not disclosed to the
public,” said an industry source in Jakarta, who has seen Freeport’s
notice on the talks.

“The meeting is attended by PT Freeport Indonesia’s union team and
witnessed by representatives from the company’s management team.”

A Freeport spokesman in Jakarta did not reply to an email inquiry.

Union leaders started pay talks with the U.S. miner on Wednesday in
the Indonesian part of New Guinea, as they push for a doubling of
salaries for workers earning $1.50 per hour, saying other Freeport
workers around the world get 10 times that.

The company is negotiating with the union on a contract due to be
renewed in October.

The New York-listed firm reported a doubling in second-quarter
profits, citing soaring metal prices and higher copper sales than
expected at its North American mines, but said that costs are creeping
up and it expects to sell less copper in the third quarter.

That outlook, combined with a fall in copper price on Thursday and
some analysts’ concerns with the nagging uncertainties over the labour
situation in Indonesia, led to a more than 1 percent drop in Freeport
share price.

Gold was steady around $1,589 an ounce on Friday, not far from a
record around $1,609 hit on Tuesday. Three-month copper on the London
Metal Exchange edged down to around $9,650 a tonne.(Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan and Samuel Wanda; Editing by Ramthan Hussain)

Freeport employees want human rights violator sacked

JUBI, 18 July 2011Following the violation of human rights that were perpetrated by personnel working for Freeport Indonesia,  there have been calls for the perpetrator, Nurcahyo to be sacked by the company.

‘We dont want that person to go on working here because he is bound to continue with his habits of discrediting indigenous Papuans.  We have experienced these things because of some trivial mistakes. Does the company want a repetition of recent actions,’ said one worker who didn’t want his name to be identified, when asked to confirm the action.

The matter was said to be closed after the person concerned was given a second warning.  For some of the staff, a very simple thing can result in the worker being sacked without mercy.

It appears that the person involved in this latest case is a superintendent  working at the Marine Section of the company named Nurcahyo who committed these human rights violations which are forbidden within the company. When there is clear evidence that someone has committed such things, that person is immediately sacked. Yet in this case, the man in charge of the human rights department, SemiYapsawaki, was simply given a second warning.

There have been many cases like this, according to JUBI, which recently triggered a strike at the company.

‘We want this person to be sent home because this is not the first time that he behaved in such a way. We hope that the management will take action against this person who can cause further major problems  in the workforce,’ said this source.

Attempts to contact the management, including the Manager, Juarsa, were not successful as he did not respond on his hand phone.


JUBI, 16 July 2011

Member of Commission IV of the Indonesian Parliament, Markus Nari, has reported that Indonesia has suffered the loss of Rp 30 trillion as a result of Freeport Indonesia ‘s failure to work on the basis of a licensing permit to operate within forestry areas known as Regulation in lieu of Law (Perpu) Ijin Pinjam Pakai Kawasan Hutan, despite two official requests from the Indonesian forestry minister.

Commission member Markus Nari, made this statement during a visit to Timika, to see the tailings waste spilling into the Ajkwa River. He pointed out that all mining companies which operates within forestry regions must be in possession of an IPPKH. ‘The company has been pressed twice by the forestry minister to obtain this license but has until now failed to do so. Instead of being requested for a third time, the company should be sent a very strong warning,’ he said.

According to information received by JUBI, Freeport Indonesia is using of 202,000 ha of land, much of which is adjacent to the Lorenz National Park. There are  altogether thirteen companies operating within these protected forestry areas, including Freeport.

Nari said that he had received reports from local communities during his visit to the area that the forests had been damaged, while silt had affected the depth of the river and the nearby sea.

He said that the team from parliament and the forestry ministry  had paid close attention to Freeport’s utilisation of forestry areas,  and had seen the impact of the tailings in silting the estuary and the sea.

Tensions Increase Between PT Freeport Indonesia Employees, Authorities

From Joyo

The Jakarta Post [web site]

July 11, 2011

Tensions between native Papuan workers, who come from seven various tribes, at PT Freeport Indonesia and police escalated on Monday after the workers blocked the access road heading to the mine.

According to Andre, a PT Freeport Indonesia employee detained in Tembagapura, Papua, the tension between the workers and police had started on one of roads leading to the mine.

“The authorities were heading up to the mill with several pipe operators to deal with the stockpile that had started to overflow,” Andre said as reported by

However, native Papuan workers physically blocked the group, eyewitnesses reported.

Tembagapura Police chief Adj.Comr. Sudirman denied that there were problems in the area. “The situation is safe,” he said.

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