Video art about the devil Richard K. Adkerson and the Freeport-McMoran mining company. Freeport-McMoran owns the Grasberg mine in Timika, West Papua, the scene of a recent tunnel collapse killing 28 miners.
Death is a regular visitor to Grasberg, as Freeport is responsible for the forced relocation and deaths of many thousands of indigenous people. Freeport also pays protection money to trigger-happy thugs in the Indonesian military who have orchestrated attacks against the mine’s facilities.
Support for Freeport-McMoran is support for a brutal occupation and genocide of indigenous people.
Freeport Death Toll Reaches 28 as Indonesia Reviews Mines
Source: The Jakarta Globe
By Madelene Pearson
Jakarta/Singapore. The death toll from a collapsed tunnel at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.’s Grasberg complex reached 28 as Indonesia said it would review all mining operations following one of its worst mining accidents.
The rescue team recovered the remaining bodies that were buried at the accident site of the world’s second-largest copper mine, Thamrin Sihite, director general of coal and minerals at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, told reporters on Tuesday in Jakarta.
Operations at the mine in Mimika, Papua province, about 3,120 kilometers east of Jakarta, will remain suspended until after an investigation is concluded, the government said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered related ministries to review safety at all mines in Indonesia, Sihite said earlier.
Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport, which got 20 percent of its operating income from Indonesia last year, was still shipping material produced from the mine as of May 17, its local unit said last week.
Ten workers have been rescued from the site, Freeport said on Tuesday.
The “Freeport accident is one of the worst mining accidents in Indonesia,” Sihite told reporters in Jakarta on Tuesday. “I don’t want this to happen again.”
The death toll compares with 31 from a blast at a coal mine in Indonesia’s West Sumatra province in June 2009.
Freeport Indonesia had no update on shipments, Daisy Primayanti, vice president of corporate communications, said on Tuesday.
Freeport chief executive officer Richard Adkerson, who arrived in Indonesia on May 18, has been visiting injured workers along with Freeport Indonesia president director Rozik B. Soetjipto.
“I am deeply saddened and disturbed by this event,” Adkerson said in a statement on Monday. “Our focus continues to be continuing efforts to gain access to the victims still buried at the accident, carried out as quickly as can be done safely.”
Indonesia generated $1.3 billion in operating income for Freeport last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Freeport owns 91 percent of the mine, which also produces gold, and Indonesia’s government holds the rest, according to the company’s website.
A government team has started an investigation into the accident, studying geological data, structure and maps, Sihite said.
Once the evacuation process is finished, the team will check the site to determine the cause of the accident, he said.
“Grasberg mine operations including milling will be stopped until the investigation is concluded and Freeport has agreed to this,” Sihite said.
The halt applies to underground and open-pit mining, he said. “Only maintenance works are allowed. We will investigate all operations.”
Freeport’s Ceased Production Costs State $1.82 Million a Day
By AYU PRIMA SANDI
Thamrin Sihite, director general of mineral and coal at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said that since PT Freeport Indonesia stopped all production activities following the underground tunnel collapse, the state is losing revenue.
“As an impact, states revenues would be delayed,” Thamrin said on Tuesday, May 21.
According to Thamrin’s calculation, the potential loss of revenue is approximately US$1.82 million per day. The calculation is based on the assumption that Freeport’s mine daily production volume reaches up to 86 million tons on normal days.
Nevertheless, Thamrin said the government will not set a deadline to the production halt, and will continue to prioritize rescue efforts and further evaluation.
Thamrin was unwilling to say what penalties Freeport could be given over what happened. He said that the important thing now is to complete evacuation and conduct an evaluation to determine the cause of the incident. “To prevent similar things from happening again,” he said.
On May 14, the training facility tunnel belonging to US-owned gold and copper mining company, PT Freeport Indonesia, collapsed. Thirty-eight workers were buried in the Big Gossan mine located in the Tembagapura District, Papua.
The Energy Ministry on Tuesday announced that all workers buried in the underground tunnel have been found. Of the 38 training participants buried in the tunnel, 21 died while 10 were injured.