16 May 2006

Freeport told to improve waste management at Papua or face legal action

8:33 pm on 16 May 2006

Indonesia's Environment Ministry says it's working with Freeport McMoran to minimise environmental damage caused by the US mining company's massive Papua mine.

This follows confirmation in the Indonesian House of Representatives that the tailing system used by Freeport in its Grasberg mining operations at Timika, has caused severe damage to the environment.

The Ministry says they've notified Freeport that it must improve its management of the waste ore or face legal proceedings.

Assistant Deputy Minister of Management of Hazardous Waste, Rasio Sani, says among other things, they they want Freeport to utilise the tailings as a resource for contruction materials and other purposes.

"Now we work on how we can minimise the impact from the"

mining activities. This is our recommendation to Freeport, that they utilise the tailings. To look at the most effective and efficient way to protect the environment

Rasio Sani says impact management will help protect the environment and increase benefits from the tailings.