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43 illegal miners detained in Papua JAKARTA - Indonesian police on Friday detained 43 indigenous Papuans for blocking a main road to the world's largest gold and copper mine with burning tires, an official said. The illegal miners, including two women, were picked up at dawn Friday outside the Grasberg mine operated by the New Orleans-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., said local police chief Lt. Col. Jimmy Tuilan. The protest did not effect activities at the mine, he said.

A similar action in February by hundreds of Papuans forced a suspension of production at the facility. They were protesting attempts by police and company security guards to stop them from mining gold from waste rock. Many Papuans living close to the mine earn their living retrieving and selling tiny amounts of gold and copper from leftovers, or tailings, a practice that is banned by Freeport because it is considered dangerous.

The mine in the remote province has long had an uneasy relationship with local people, most of whom are desperately poor. Papua is also home to a separatist rebellion, complicating Freeport's security still further.



Posted in PT Freeport @ 07 October 2006 06:53 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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