New York Times 9-page article on environmental & human rights concerns relating to Freeport-McMoRan's mine in West Papua - includes comments by Freeport

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Article
3 January 2006

Freeport denies pollution reports, vows to comply with govt rules [West Papua]

Author: Jakarta Post

PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) has denied reports that the world's biggest gold and copper mining company was polluting rivers near its mining site in Papua.

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Article
29 December 2005

General confirms Freeport payments [Indonesia]

Author: Tiarma Siboro and Tony Hotland, Jakarta Post

Former Trikora Military Commander in Papua Maj. Gen. Mahidin Simbolon has confirmed direct payments from U.S. gold miner Freeport-McMoRan to Indonesian military and police personnel guarding the firm's mine. Mahidin said on Wednesday that the money from Freeport was used to support the military's logistical and other expenses, including meals, transportation, clothing and medication... [Mahidin said] "...I suppose (U.S. oil firm) ExxonMobil is also paying the soldiers assigned to guard its site in Aceh..." ... ExxonMobil spokesperson Deva Rachman admitted that the firm paid for security, but said that the money was paid to and fully managed by the government's Oil and Gas Regulatory Body (BP Migas)... Mahidin, now the inspector general of the Army, denied ever having received part of the money...

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Company response
28 December 2005

Response of Freeport-McMoRan to New York Times article

Author: Freeport-McMoRan

We have been transparent about our logistical support for the Indonesian security forces... The support for the government security institutions is provided pursuant to government requests for its legitimate requirements and is in accord with our Contract of Work, applicable laws, internal procedures and the joint US State Department–British Foreign Office Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights... Our environmental management practices adhere to Indonesian standards and, where applicable, international best practices... We have a positive relationship with the local people in our area of operations.

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Article
27 December 2005

The Cost of Gold - The Hidden Payroll - Below a Mountain of Wealth, a River of Waste [Freeport-McMoRan's Grasberg mine in West Papua]

Author: Jane Perlez & Raymond Bonner, New York Times

Company records obtained by The [New York] Times show that from 1998 through 2004, Freeport gave military and police generals, colonels, majors and captains, and military units, nearly $20 million...Freeport said in a written response to The Times that it had "taken appropriate steps" in accordance with American and Indonesian laws to provide a secure working environment for its more than 18,000 employees and contract workers...All the while Freeport sealed its relations with the military, the country's fledgling environment ministry could do little but watch as waste from the mine piled up... Freeport says that local and regional governments have approved its waste management plans, and that the central government has approved its environmental impact statement and other monitoring plans.

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