18 Jan 2006

Freeport defends record on environment and security in Indonesia's Papua

2:25 pm on 18 January 2006

The chief executive of the US mining company Freeport has defended his firm's record in the Indonesian province of Papua.

Richard Adkerson says Freeport is co-operating with unspecified US government agencies who have recently inquired about its payments to local Indonesian soldiers.

He says Freeport provides financial support to assist security personnel with infrastructure, logistics and the hardship elements of posting in Papua.

Mr Adkerson says environmental impacts unavoidably occur in a large mining project, and such impacts are continually monitored and reported.

He says the area affected by mine waste tailings can be readily revegetated with native plants.

Mr Adkerson says the estuary downstream of the tailings deposition area is a functioning, bio-diverse ecosystem with abundant species of fish and shrimp.