Freeport and The Environmental Issues


Freeport McMoran or so called Freeport is the largest mining industry that has placed their mining production in some areas. It is a U.S. based industry which also placed their mining in Indonesia, precisely in Mimika, Papua. The mining industry is producing copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, oil and natural gas. Freeport is also the largest traded copper producer, the world’s largest producer of molybdenum and a significant gold, oil and natural gas producer. (, n.d.)

PT Freeport Indonesia is located in Mimika, Papua. PT Freeport Indonesia has placed their mining production in a remote area of Papua which has giving many benefits of mining production. There are many mining product such as gold and copper. As we know that Papua is reach with its natural resources, and it is that makes Freeport McMoran then placed their production in Papua.

The impact of Freeport
Freeport in Indonesia is often claimed as harmfulSince, it is considered as exploitation of Freeport to Indonesia. The shares of PT Freeport are up to 90.34%, it is a quite big amount of shares. Moreover, they are big company dealing with mining production. The fact is that Indonesia only gets 9.36% shares, and the royalty that Indonesia gets is only 1% (, 2012). It means, Indonesia only gets a little advantage of having PT Freeport in Papua, or it can be said, we don't have concrete benefits in this.

Moreover, PT Freeport Indonesia has the environmental issues, and it is the reason of why most of Indonesian hates Freeport (, n.d.). Although, Freeport has has monitoring the operation area in Mimika, there always been environmental issues in this mining production. Since, PT Freeport Indonesia has utilize geographic are in Mimika to find the natural resources. The mining production of Freeport is also considered as an abuse of environment, as we know that it happens in a remote area of Papua where there still many poverty.

Impact on Environment
The environmental issues of Freeport happens in many cases, such as deforestation, polution, acid rock drainage, and even flood. The Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) like WWF that also concerns in environmental issues has argued this issue regarded in many disadvantages of Freeport mine in Indonesia.

The mining production in Papua is indeed make deforestation, since to look for mining product, we have to search it deep into the earth layers. The deforestation that happens caused by PT Freeport Indonesia is quite huge. Moreover, Freeport is using open-pit mining techniques in which it causes significant deforestation and open the remote forest areas to transit settlers, land speculators, and small-scale miners (, 2012).

The mining production by Freeport also causes a chemical pollution that will endanger the forest environment. The chemical pollution comes from the tailing method that also used by Freeport and it disposes hazardous wastes to stream near to the production. Afterward, the wastes flow and reach the Arafuru coast with mangroves are planted there. It will also pollute the area around the beach, and the plants near by the beach.

Acid Rock Drainage
Acid rock drainage were caused by the copper which contains of metal sulfides. When the copper dug up, it crushed and will be exposed to air and water. It threaten to contaminate local water supplies in watesheds adjacent to Freeport operation (, n.d.). Almost all of the rocks disposed by the mining are acid forming. Although those waste rocks have been disposed, there will still produce pollute. The acid from waste rocks have strong acid with pH = 3, and it's quite high for mining production. The higher acidity of waste rock also that makes acid rock drainage then come out.

U.S. response towards this case
Freeport is more beneficial for United States rather that Indonesia, although it is a private sector. However, Freeport still give a contribution to United States in terms of economy. As mentioned above that Freeport gives only 9.36% to Indonesia. The rests are for Freeport, and as Freeport is U.S. based industry, it is indeed that U.S. will take the benefits. It is one of the reasons that makes PT Freeport Indonesia want to extend the contract in Papua. It gives us understanding that U.S. government agreed to extend because the benefits that U.S. get are a lot.

Indonesian government agreed to extend the contract without seeing how much the impact towards Indonesia, especially in the environmental issues. Also, Indonesia doesn't get any benefits of it. It is true that it will open the jobs demand in Papua. However, we can see there still many poverty happens around Mimika, Papua. Also, the waste rocks and pollution really gives bad impact to Papua. The thing is that, Papua is being exploited by Freeport by taking all the natural resources without giving many advantages to Papua, give a bad ecological footprint,  and damage the environment and the beauty of Papua, Indonesia.

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  1. Almost 99% Freeport's issues is just about politic. Fuckin geo-politic exactly. Awesome post, sist!

    1. Yeah, exactly it's being politicized, but my focus here is in environment so I didn't put stress on a politic too much. Btw, it's my final assignments on 1 subject I take, n it requires me to upload here wkwk


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