Energy Ministry Bans Freeport from Mining

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  • Workers take part in the rescue effort after an underground tunnel collapsed in Big Gossan at the Grasberg complex, West Papua (5/17). REUTERS/PT Freeport Indonesia

    Workers take part in the rescue effort after an underground tunnel collapsed in Big Gossan at the Grasberg complex, West Papua (5/17). REUTERS/PT Freeport Indonesia

    TEMPO.CO, Nusa Dua - Thamrin Sihite, Director General of Mineral and Coal at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said that PT Freeport Indonesia is temporarily prohibited from doing any kind of mining activities, both underground mining or open pit activities, until the investigation related to recent accidents that happened at the company's mine is completed.


    The government is banning Freeport from conducting underground mining activities following the Big Gossan tunnel collapse on May 15, which killed 28 Freeport workers.


    On May 31, just two weeks after the collapse, other Freeport workers died after a breach of security procedures.


    The second incident made mining labor unions stopped all mining activities by the company. Until now, the government has not been able to determine when the investigation over Freeport's mining activities would be completed.


    Thamrin said that Freeport is still allowed to deliver its coals but it is banned from producing any, until further notice.



    ANANDA TERESIA