The “New York Agreement” between the Suharto regime and the US administration sets out the terms for the transferral of sovereignty for West Papua from Dutch colonial rule to Indonesian rule. At the same time, mining rights are provided for US company Freeport McMoran Inc. in the Central Highlands of West Papua where it starts developing the open pit Ertzberg mine. For many years this would be the world’s largest combined copper and gold mine, with Rio Tinto playing a key role in its expansion in 1996. The mine’s development and operation causes many harmful social and environmental impacts which continue until today, while local communities are denied a say over their own lands.

Cut and Run report by LMN