19 Oct 2011

Strike, blockades and sabotage threaten Freeport mine in Papua

12:25 pm on 19 October 2011

Freeport Indonesia says it is considering a controlled shutdown of the entire mine in Papua following suspected sabotage and a strike in its second month.

The US-owned company, which runs the world's most profitable gold and copper mine, is continuing to assess the security situation after a pipeline was cut in what the firm described as sabotage.

The roads connecting the mine to the port are still blocked as tension has risen.

Last week, police killed one of the more than 8,000 strikers and later in the week unidentified gunmen shot dead three contractors trying to maintain the mining operation.

Freeport's chief administration officer Sinta Sirait has told the Jakarta Post that the incidents have triggered blockades and the destruction of several facilities, creating a chaotic situation.