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Two Dead at Freeport's Grasberg Mine as Landslide Hits
Cafeteria
 Tapol
 Mar 23, 2006 04:23 PST 


Associated Press
March 23, 2006

Landslide Kills Two at Mine in Indonesia

A landslide smashed into a cafeteria at a U.S.-owned gold and copper mine in
eastern Indonesia on Thursday, killing at least two Indonesian workers, a mine
spokesman said.

Several other workers were injured in the accident at the Grasberg mine, run
by a local unit of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., said spokesman
Siddharta Moersjid. He said more fatalities were possible.

Investigators were trying to determine the cause of the landslide. Moersjid
said production at the mine was unaffected.

The accident comes at a bad time for the company in remote Papua province.

Last month, Freeport suspended production at Grasberg after protesters
demanding the right to mine waste ore blockaded the facility. Last week, five
security officers were bludgeoned to death during an anti-Freeport protest.

Protesters have also launched fresh protests over the company's environmental
record, as well as against payments it makes to local police and military
units to protect the facility. The payments are controversial because the
security forces have been accused of rights abuses in the province in the
course of
putting down a separatist rebellion.

Freeport defends its operation in Papua, saying it pays millions of dollars
in taxes each year and funds scores of local projects.

The mine, believed to be the world's largest, has earned Freeport billions of
dollars since it began production in the early 1970s after the New
Orleans-based company signed a deal with the U.S.-backed Indonesian dictator

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Joyo Indonesia News Service
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TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign
111 Northwood Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon CR7 8HW, UK.
tel +44 (0)20 8771 2904 fax +44 (0)20 8653 0322
tap-@gn.apc.org http://tapol.gn.apc.org


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