WEST PAPUA: Freeport mine forced to close

November 17, 1993

On February 22, the giant US-owned Freeport gold and copper mine in West Papua was forced to suspend operations following a demonstration by hundreds of people who live in the surrounding area. The demonstrators blocked the mine's access road after security officers attempted to stop locals from searching for small lumps of gold in discarded mine tailings. Many people earn a living by collecting small amounts of gold and copper from waste dumped by the mine. The following day, as the mine remained closed, West Papuan students attacked the Freeport offices in Jakarta and 13 people were arrested. Freeport pays the Indonesian military and private security guards to protect its mining operations.

From Green Left Weekly, March 1, 2006.
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