Govt: Freeport Must Restore Environmental Damage if Proven Guilty

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) stated that Freeport Indonesia has caused environmental damages by dumping their mining wastes to the surrounding forest, river, outfalls, and sea. The damage is said to be worth Rp185 trillion.

    Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that Freeport must restore the environmental damages if they are proven guilty. He explained that there are no special treatments between Freeport and other companies.

    Luhut promised that he would personally pursue the U.S.-based mining company if the allegations are proven to be true.

    BPK recorded five Freeport's violations throughout the 2013-2015 contract of work (CoW).

    The company is allegedly operated their activities in 4,535.93 hectares of national reserve without the proper permit throughout 2008-2015. This mining activity has violated Law No. 41/1999 and Law No. 19/2004 that regulate forestry.

    According to BPK, the state is facing a Rp270 billion potential loss from unpaid taxes for utilizing a forest area.

    Other violations include Freeport’s underground mines that operate without environmental permits. BPK argued that Freeport’s environmental impact analysis, valid since 1997, did not include the underground mines.

    Freeport also failed to pay their post-mining liabilities last year which is worth US$22.29 million of state loss.

    VINDRY FLORENTIN | PUTRI ADITYOWATI