Tag Archives: rio tinto

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.)

Freeport Mine in West Papua secretly producing uranium

News items from Bintang Papua, abridged in translation

Shocking news has been received about Freeport-Indonesia, namely that this company which operates one of the largest copper mines in the world has for the past eight months been secretly producing and exporting the most sought after mineral, uranium, which is the basic requirement for nuclear reactors and for the production of nuclear weapons.

This is in breach of its contract of work, which covers the mining of copper, whereas the mining of other minerals such as the mining of gold, coal and non-petroleum products was made public during the 1990s.

‘This is clearly a case of theft because the mining of uranium is not mentioned in the contract of work,’ Yan Mandenas, chairman of the Pikiran Rakyat group in the Papuan provincial legislative council, DPRP. told Bintang Papua.

‘We are closely following the mining of uranium with the help of informants within the Freeport company as well as in the district administration, and from NGOs and  the general  public,’ said Mandenas.

Mandenas said that since Freeport is located within the territory of the province of Papua, the government of West Papua and the DPRP cannot take any action against this massive company.

‘It is very difficult for us to enter the area because of the highly complex bureaucracy, while the products are transported through pipes.’  Nevertheless, the DPRP is using all resources as its disposal  to keep an eye on the company.

It should be recalled that the conflict between Iran and America which is now before the UN Security Council is focused on Iran’s possession of uranium. As is known there are two functions for uranium, one for peaceful purposes and one for the production of nuclear bombs.

Attempts to contact the manager for corporate communications of Freeport, Budiman Moerdijat were not successful.