Four missing in Freeport accident
National News - May 06, 2000
JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (JP): Four people were reported missing after the
collapse of a large pile of waste belonging to giant mining company PT
Freeport Indonesia at the Grasberg mine in Tembagapura, Mimika regency
collapsed on Thursday.
Blaming four days of rainfall, which reached an average of 40
millimeters a day recently, PT Freeport Indonesia president director
Adrie Machribie said the four missing people were employees of PT
Petrosea and PT Graha Buana Jaya, contractors to PT Freeport
"We regret the incident and every effort is being made to locate the
four and to inform and console their families," he said. He failed to
identify the four.
PT Freeport Indonesia head office in Jakarta issued a media release on
Friday saying that the incident, which took place at 9:50 p.m. local
time Thursday, was caused by the slippage of overburden waste, which
caused a wave of water and material to overtop the Wanagon basin
spillway and enter Wanagon valley.
The flood also hit Banti village, some 12 kilometers downstream of the
Wanagon basin. "No injuries were reported at Banti," Machribie said.
The incident came as Freeport was under fire for allegedly failing to
minimize the environmental impact of its mining activities.
Freeport Indonesia is 81.28 percent owned by U.S. mining company
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold with the Indonesia government and PT
Indocopper Investama Corporation holding each a 9.36 percent stake in
the company. (eba/sur)
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