A foreign mining company, protected by hundreds of soldiers, extracts precious resources from a remote tropical forest. The mining enrages indigenous tribes, who resist. It may sound like a movie script, but it is in fact the story of the world’s largest gold mine, located high in the mountains of Indonesia’s Papua province and owned by Freeport-McMoRan, an American mining conglomerate.
(The Grasberg mine’s internal “security” is in the hands of PT Securicor Indonesia – part of G4S, the world’s most extended network of its kind that is based in the English county of West Sussex. London-listed Rio Tinto has also been indispensable to Freeport, acting as its critical 40% joint-venture partner at the mine for over a decade.)
See http://www.npr.org/2011/11/16/142346962/in-indonesia-anger-against-mining-giant-grows.
Workers at the mine have announced that the strike will be extended till 15 December. Negotiations are still ongoing.The union representing the Freeport workers, PUK SP – KEP SPSI, is asking for financial donations to support the strikers.
See http://aawl.org.au/content/donate-freeport-strikers.
See also: Twenty-two years of top-down resource exploitation in Papua
Among the companies benefiting from Indonesia’s occupation of West Papua is Britain’s Rio Tinto. See article from LMN member group Down to Earth’s November newsletter: http://www.downtoearth-indonesia.org/story/twenty-two-years-top-down-resource-exploitation-papua.