The Jakarta Post
The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has protested the government's approval of giant miner PT Freeport Indonesia's plans to build a smelter in Gresik, East Java, saying that the smelter should be built in Papua to help development in the eastern region.
'We have criticized Freeport and the government's agreement to build a smelter in Gresik. The smelter should be built in Papua in order to fairly distribute and balance national development,' Komnas HAM commissioner Natalius Pigai said on Tuesday as quoted by kontan.co.id.
Freeport Indonesia, which is a subsidiary of US copper and gold mining company Freeport-McMoRan, has been operating a mine in Papua for decades. Natalius added that the company must also be responsible for opening Indonesia's easternmost region from isolation; not doing so would be an egregious exploitation of Papua.
'Corporate crimes are not only found in civil and political matters, but also in economic and social aspects, as is the case with Freeport,' Natalius added, saying that the commission would file a protest to the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry.
The government had previously extended Freeport's memorandum of understanding on its renegotiated work contract, which would allow the company to continue exporting copper concentrate. (dyl/nfo)(+++)
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