freeport mcmoran gold and copper mine in papua, indonesia | facts and details

freeport mcmoran gold and copper mine in papua, indonesia | facts and details

The world's largest known gold deposit and the world' third largest copper reserves are located on 13,000 foot-high Grasberg Mountain in south central Papua not far from 16,024-foot Puncak Jaya, the highest mountain in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, and the only one between the Andes and the Himalayas that has glaciers. There are also large deposits of silver in the area. [Source: Mark Frankel, Newsweek, December 18, 1995]

The mountain is being mined by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc,a mining company previously based in New Orleans but now based in Phoenixthrough its Indonesian subsidiary PT Freeport Indonesia. The company is often simply called Freeport As of the mid 1990s the company had spent $3 billion to develop the mine and extract its minerals and was the largest single American investor in Indonesia, with a market capitalization of $5 billion, and the country's most profitable business, making more than $1 million a day.

The mine employs just over 24,000 contract and non-contract workers, with a union representing about 18,000 of the workers. Freeport Indonesia said it expected production to reach 1.1 billion pounds of copper and 1.2 million ounces of gold in 2013, up 54 percent and 31 percent over 2012 figures, respectively, as mining moves into higher ore grades. [Source: Michael Taylor, Reuters, May 14, 2013]

The mine began production in the 1970s in the early years of the U.S.-backed Suharto dictatorship. Freeport has access to nine million acres of land, an area one and half times the size of Vermont. About 1.24 million acres is taken up by the mine. The operation is also one of the worlds largest copper mines. As of 2009, Freeport workers numbers around 20,000 excluding on site family members. In 1995 the 60,000 people linked with the mineemployees and their families lived on a compound carved out of the jungle with American-style shopping centers.

The mine straddles a mineral-rich ridge of peaks pushed up by a collision between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. In the 1990s, everyday about $7.2 million worth of gold, copper and silver was extracted from the Grasberg mine. The refined metal harvested every year at that time was worth about $2 billion. The total deposit, one of the world's richest, is worth at least $100 billion. The mine has proven reserves of 46 million ounces of gold, according to the company's 2004 annual report. In 2005, Mining International, a trade journal, called Freeport's gold mine the biggest in the world.

The Freeport McMoRan Gold Mine is the worlds largest gold mine and the world's second largest copper mine . It is is an open-pit mine on the top of a mountain. To get to it you need to pass through two tunnels and then climb an incredibly steep road that is so dangerous drivers need a special permit to traverse it. The open-pit mine will be more than two miles across at the end of its working life, sometime around 2016.

The ore is dug us with huge shovels and loaded onto trucks that coat $2 million a piece and moved to a processing plant that crushes and chemically concentrates the ore into a slurry that is piped 75 miles to the coast, where it is shipped to smelters. The work continues 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More than 200 tons of ore is pried loose from the rock every day.

Describing the mining process, Thomas O'Neill wrote in National Geographic, "Shivering in the cold wind...I watched trucks with tires ten feet high haul out ore that would be processed into a gray concentrate of copper, gold and silver. The mix, piped in a slurry from down the mountain to the private seaport of Amamapare, is dried and shipped to smelters round the world. Everything is jumbo size: the workforce of 17,000; the gold, an estimated 40 million ounces, the single biggest gold reserve in the world; the copper deposits 28 billion pounds." [Source: Thomas O'Neill, National Geographic, February, 1996 ]

Freeport says there is enough gold ore in Grasberg to keep it going until 2040. The company has ambitious plans to turn Grasberg into the world's biggest underground mining complex after 2016 when its open pit operations are due to end. In 2013, open pit mining accounted for two-thirds of production. Open-pit mining at Grasberg normally produces around 140,000 tons of copper ore a day, while underground operations yield 80,000 tons. [Source: Yayat Supriatna, Reuters, May 31, 2013]

The Freeport operation is so big that the company has almost created its own ministate. Tembagapura, or "Copper Town" is home ot many of the mines employees. Located halfway up the mountain and identified with a sign that bears the Freeport logo, it features air-conditioned markets with a wide variety of American goods and modern apartments and recreation facilities.

Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner wrote in the New York Times, Papua's extreme remoteness and the company's long ties to the Indonesian government have given Freeport exceptional sway over a 21st-century version of the old company town, built on a scale unique even by the standards of modern mega-mining. "If any operation like this was put forward now, it wouldn't be allowed," said Witoro Soelarno, a senior investigator at the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources, who has visited the mine many times. "But now the operation exists, and many people depend on it." [Source: Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner, New York Times, December 27, 2005 *-*]

Near Tembagapura on the plains below the mountain is Timika, an ugly town full of prostitutes, bars, gambling halls and people in ragged jeans and T-shirts. It is occupied mainly by poor Papuans who have come to the area to seek work. The Indonesian police and military have a strong presence here. Before the arrival of the mine the plains around Timika was unpopulated. In the 1990s it had 30,000 people, a Sheraton hotel and an airport. By the mid 2000s, there were 100,000 people there.

The Aghawagon Valley and the area around the Freeport mine is the homeland of Amungmen people. Since the opening of the mine they have gotten in disputes with the more numerous Dani migrants, who have come to the area looking for work. In the 1990s nine people were killed in one altercation.

Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner wrote in the New York Times, For years, to secure Freeport's domain, James R. Moffett, a Louisiana-born geologist who is the company chairman, assiduously courted Indonesia's longtime dictator, President Suharto, and his cronies, having Freeport pay for their vacations and some of their children's college education, and cutting them in on deals that made them rich, current and former employees said.[Source: Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner, New York Times, December 27, 2005 *-*]

It was a marriage of mutual convenience. As Freeport prospered into a company with $2.3 billion in revenues, it also became among the biggest - in some years the biggest - source of revenue for the government. It remains so. Freeport says that it provided Indonesia with $33 billion in direct and indirect benefits from 1992 to 2004, almost 2 percent of the country's gross domestic product. With gold prices hitting a 25-year high of $540 an ounce in December 2005" the company paid the government $1 billion in 2005. *-*

With Suharto's ouster in 1998, after 30 years of unchallenged power, Freeport's special place was left vulnerable. But its importance to Indonesia's treasury and its carefully cultivated cocoon of support have helped secure it against challenges from local people, environmental groups, and even the country's own Environment Ministry. Letters and other documents provided to The Times by government officials showed that the Environment Ministry repeatedly warned the company since 1997 that Freeport was breaching environmental laws. They also reveal the ministry's deep frustration.

At one point last year, a ministry scientist wrote that the mine's production was so huge, and regulatory tools so weak, that it was like "painting on clouds" to persuade Freeport to comply with the ministry's requests to reduce environmental damage. Since Suharto's ouster, Freeport employees say, Mr. Moffett's motto has been "no tall trees," a call to keep as low a profile as possible, for a company that operates on an almost unimaginable scale.

Freeport is the largest employer in Papua. It provides half of Papuas gross domestic product. Between 1992 and 1998 it provided the Indonesian government with $1.27 billion from divided royalties and corporate taxes. As of August 2000, 20 percent of the 6,000 person workforce was Papuan (including 100 Papuans in supervisor roles), 4,000 students have been given scholarships. At that time about 30 percent of the 18,000 people that were employed by the mining operation were Papuans.

Freeport McMoran is the largest foreign taxpayer in Indonesian. It paid more than $1 billion in taxes between 1989 and 2002 and cotributed $1 billion a year to the Indonesian economy. The company has spent more than $160 million on regional development since 1992, most of it on roads and tunnels and cable systems. It also spends over $16.5 million (about 1 percent of its revenues) annually on schools, medical care and other programs for the people of Papua.

Freeport claims that its health centers treat more than 5,000 patients a month free of charge, provides drinking water by digging deep freshwater wells, employs 14,000 Indonesians, and is helping Indonesian animals such as the Sumatran Tiger, Komodo dragon and barasingha.

A Freeport-sponsored anti-malaria program has cut the rate of infection of that disease from 80 percent of the population to 10 percent. The company runs a $3.5 million environmental lab and $4 million 75-bed hospital. The company even sponsors a rugby teams called the Kotekas (named after the penis gourds worn by many tribesmen).

Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner wrote in the New York Times, After riots in 1996, Freeport began dedicating 1 percent of revenues annually to a development fund for Papua to pay for schools, medical services, roads - whatever the people wanted. The company built clinics and two hospitals. Other services include programs to control malaria and AIDS and a "recognition" fund for the Kamoro and Amungme tribes of several million dollars which, among other things, gives them shares in the company as part of a compensation package for the lands Freeport is using. By the end of 2004, Freeport had spent $152 million on the community development fund, the company said. [Source: Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner, New York Times, December 27, 2005 *-*]

S. Prakash Sethi, head of the International Center for Corporate Accountability, commended Freeport for commissioning the report on the company's development programs, saying that it was the first mining company to do so. The report, which was released in October, concluded that the company had successfully introduced a human rights training program for its employees and had doubled the number of Papuan employees by 2001. The company was poised to double the number of Papuans in the work force again by 2006, the audit said.*-*

Many local activists are resentful because Freeport earns billions of dollars in profit from Papua's natural resources while the people remain overwhelmingly poor. Freeport has earned millions of dollars from its mine in Papua. The Indonesia government has collected money from the operation, but hardly any money has trickled down to the Papua people, according to Viktor Kausiepo, a Papuan activist living in exile. The company has leveled a mountain sacred to indigenous people and cut down their forest and fouled their streams. The Japanese are chopping the trees into bits for paper and chopsticks.

Many local people dont like Freeport-McMoRan Copper. They claim the company has destroyed sacred lands, ravaged the environment and failed to share their wealth with local communities. Amunme and Komoro people have been displaced by the mine and, many feel, were not adequately compensated. Many Papuans believe that Freeport could spend much more than money than it does to aid the local population. Management of Freeport counters it is a business and it is not its responsibility to provide things that should be provided by the government.

The Freeport mine has been blamed for high levels of alcoholism, destruction of indigenous cultures, the dispossession of native lands, and the influx of Indonesians to Papua. Some local people claim Freeport drove them off their land. Activist sclaim that Papuans make only 10 percent of the workforce and most of the jobs go to Indonesian from other parts of the archipelago. Freeport agrees it has not hired many Papuans but argues this is the case because the skill levels and education of the local people are very low.

Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner wrote in the New York Times, Thom Beanal, an Amungme tribal leader, says the combined weight of the Indonesian government and Freeport has left his people in bad shape. Yes, he said, the company had provided electricity, schools and hospitals, but the infrastructure was built mainly for the benefit of Freeport. Mr. Beanal said he told Freeports chairman that the flood of money from the community fund was ruining people's lives. When the company arrived, he noted, there were several hundred people in the lowland village of Timika. Now it is home to more than 100,000 in a Wild West atmosphere of too much alcohol, shootouts between soldiers and the police, AIDS and prostitution, protected by the military. [Source: Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner, New York Times, December 27, 2005 *-*]

Mr. Beanal, a vocal supporter of independence for Papua, has fought the company from outside and inside. In 2000, he decided that harmony was the better path, and joined the company's advisory board. In November 2005, he and other Amungme and Komoro tribesmen met with Mr. Moffett at the Sheraton Hotel in Timika and told him the flood of money from the community fund was ruining people's lives. Mr. Beanal said he was increasingly impatient with the presence of the soldiers and the mine. "We never feel secure there," he said. "What are they guarding? We don't know. Ask Moffett, it's his company." *-*

Freeport McMoRan hires the Indonesian military to provide protection and keep trespassers and local people off their land. As is true with Exxon Mobile in Aceh, some of the soldiers hired by the company have been involved in violence against local people. The highly militarized zone around the mine is off limits to foreign journalists.

More soldiers arrived after a peace agreement was hammered out in Aceh in 2005 and the government is redeployed soldiers to Papua in a move, according to the New York Times, to defeat the growing enthusiasm for independence, once and for all, and to watch over the province with the world's biggest gold mine.: After a wave of deadly shootings in 2009, Indonesia began deploying police special forces in the area.

The Indonesian government has a 9 percent stake in the mine and receives large amounts of tax revenue from it. Jakarta has placed a large military force in the mining region to protect "the vital importance" of the mining operation. Although Freeport-Moran has no control over the Indonesian troops it does provide them with food, shelter and transportation.

A complex web of political and military ties has helped protect Freeport from pressures from labor unions, Papuan activists and environmentalists. Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner wrote in the New York Times, Only lightly touched by a scant regulatory regime, and cloaked in the protection of the military, Freeport has managed to maintain a nearly impenetrable redoubt on the easternmost Indonesian province as it taps one of the country's richest assets. "There is no alternative to our reliance on the Indonesian military and police in this regard," the company said. "The need for this security, the support provided for such security, and the procedures governing such support, as well as decisions regarding our relationships with the Indonesian government and its security institutions, are ordinary business activities."[Source: Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner, New York Times, December 27, 2005 *-*]

Throughout Indonesia the military, a deeply nationalist institution, finances itself by setting up legal enterprises like shopping centers and hotels, or illicit ones, like logging. In Papua, the Grasberg mine became a chance for the military not only to profit but also to deepen its presence in a province where it had barely a toehold before Freeport arrived. For many years Freeport maintained its own security force, while the Indonesian military battled a weak, low-level insurgency. But slowly their security needs became entwined."Where Freeport really took it on the chin is the military who came in had no vehicles, and they would commandeer a Freeport bus or a Freeport driver," said the Rev. David B. Lowry, an Episcopalminister hired by Mr. Moffett to oversee social programs. "We had no policies at that time." And some military commanders in Papua saw Grasberg's increasing value as ripe for the plucking*-*

In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Freeport reported that it had paid the military a total of $4.7 million in 2001, and $5.6 million in 2002. The company did not indicate whether the money was paid into commanders' personal accounts, or what the money was used for. Freeport, in its responses, said it was complying with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, a set of guidelines drawn up by the State Department. They recognize that natural resource companies "may be required or expected to contribute to, or otherwise reimburse, the costs of protecting company facilities." *-*

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Comptons Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

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indonesia | freeport-mcmoran

indonesia | freeport-mcmoran

PT Freeport Indonesia (PT-FI) commenced mining operations in 1972 and in 1988 discovered the Grasberg mine. Today, after significant production, the Grasberg mining district contains one of the worlds largest recoverable copper reserve and the largest gold reserve.

The Grasberg minerals district has three operating mines, the Grasberg open pit, the Deep Ore Zone (DOZ) underground mine and the Big Gossan underground mine. In September 2015, PT-FI initiated pre-commercial production, which represents ore extracted during the development phase for the purpose of obtaining access to the ore body, at the Deep Mill Level Zone (DMLZ) underground mine. PT-FI also has several projects in progress in the Grasberg minerals district related to the development of the large-scale, long-lived, high-grade underground ore bodies located beneath and nearby the Grasberg open pit. In aggregate, these underground ore bodies are expected to produce large-scale quantities of copper and gold following the transition from the Grasberg open pit operations where PT-FI is currently mining the final phase.

Grasberg open pit. PT-FI began open-pit mining of the Grasberg ore body in 1990 and is currently mining the final phase of the Grasberg open pit, which contains high copper and gold ore grades. PT-FI expects to mine high-grade ore over the next several quarters prior to transitioning to the Grasberg Block Cave underground mine in the first half of 2019. Production from the ore stockpiles, which are located outside of the pit limits, is expected to continue through the end of 2019.

DOZ underground mine.The DOZ ore body lies vertically below the now depleted Intermediate Ore Zone. PT-FI began production from the DOZ ore body in 1989 using open-stope mining methods, but suspended production in 1991 in favor of production from the Grasberg open pit. Production resumed in September 2000 using the block-cave method and is at the 3,110-meter elevation level.

The DOZ is a mature block-cave mine that previously operated at 80,000 metric tons of ore per day. Current operating rates from the DOZ underground mine are driven by the value of the incremental DOZ ore grade compared to the ore from the Grasberg open pit and ore grade material from the development of the DMLZ and Grasberg Block Cave underground mines. Ore milled from the DOZ underground mine averaged 33,800 metric tons of ore per day in 2018, and production at the DOZ underground mine is expected to continue through 2022.

DMLZ underground mine.The DMLZ ore body lies below the DOZ underground mine at the 2,590-meter elevation and represents the downward continuation of mineralization in the Ertsberg East Skarn system and neighboring Ertsberg porphyry. During third-quarter 2018, PT-FI commenced hydraulic fracturing activities to manage rock stresses and pre-condition the DMLZ underground mine for large-scale production following mining induced seismic activity experienced in 2017 and 2018. Results to date have been effective in managing rock stresses and pre-conditioning the cave. PT-FI expects to commence the ramp-up of production in the DMLZ underground mine by mid-2019 and to reach full production rates of 80,000 metric tons per day in 2022. Estimates of timing of future production continue to be reviewed and may be modified as additional information becomes available. Production at the DMLZ underground mine is expected to continue through 2041.

To mitigate the impact of these events, PT-FI implemented a revised mine sequence; upgraded support systems, blasting and reentry protocols; and improved mine monitoring and analysis processes. Development activities and mining are taking place in unaffected areas while impacted areas are being assessed, rehabilitated and prepared to be placed back into use. Targeted production rates once the DMLZ underground mine reaches full capacity are expected to approximate 80,000 metric tons of ore per day in 2021. Production at the DMLZ underground mine is expected to continue through 2041.

Big Gossan underground mine. The Big Gossan underground mine was on care-and-maintenance status during most of 2017 and production restarted in fourth-quarter 2017. The Big Gossan mine lies underground and adjacent to the current mill site. It is a tabular, near vertical ore body. The mine utilizes a blasthole stoping method with delayed paste backfill. Stopes of varying sizes are mined and the ore dropped down passes to a truck haulage level. Trucks are chute loaded and transport the ore to a jaw crusher. The crushed ore is then hoisted vertically via a two-skip production shaft to a level where it is loaded onto a conveyor belt. The belt carries the ore to one of the main underground conveyors where the ore is transferred and conveyed to the surface stockpiles for processing.

Our Indonesia ore bodies are located within and around two main igneous intrusions, the Grasberg monzodiorite and the Ertsberg diorite. The host rocks of these ore bodies include both carbonate and clastic rocks that form the ridge crests and upper flanks of the Sudirman Range, and the igneous rocks of monzonitic to dioritic composition that intrude them. The igneous-hosted ore bodies (the Grasberg open pit and block cave, and portions of the DOZ block cave) occur as vein stockworks and disseminations of copper sulfides, dominated by chalcopyrite and, to a lesser extent, bornite. The sedimentary-rock hosted ore bodies (portions of the DOZ and all of the Big Gossan) occur as magnetite-rich, calcium/magnesian skarn replacements, whose location and orientation are strongly influenced by major faults and by the chemistry of the carbonate rocks along the margins of the intrusions.

The copper mineralization in these skarn deposits is dominated by chalcopyrite, but higher bornite concentrations are common. Moreover, gold occurs in significant concentrations in all of the districts ore bodies, though rarely visible to the naked eye. These gold concentrations usually occur as inclusions within the copper sulfide minerals, though, in some deposits, these concentrations can also be strongly associated with pyrite.

Through its subsidiary, PT-FI, FCX mines one of the worlds largest copper and gold deposits in the Grasberg minerals district in Papua, Indonesia. In addition to copper and gold, PT-FI produces silver. FCX has a 48.76 percent interest in PT-FI and manages its mining operations. PT-FIs results are consolidated in FCXs financial statements.

During fourth-quarter 2019, PT-FI completed mining the final phase of the Grasberg open pit and continues to achieve important milestones in ramping-up production of large-scale quantities of copper and gold from its significant underground ore bodies. Results to date from its underground mines are positive and in line with long-term plans to reach full production rates. In aggregate from 1990 through 2019, the Grasberg minerals district produced 33 billion pounds of copper and 53 million ounces of gold, including over 27 billion pounds of copper and 46 million ounces of gold from the Grasberg open pit.

the world's 20 largest copper mines

the world's 20 largest copper mines

The world's 20 largest copper mines produce nearly 9 million metric tons of the precious metal a year, about 40% of the world's total copper mine capacity. Chile and Peru, alone, account for more than half of the copper mines on this list. The U.S. makes the cut, as well, with two mines among the top 20.

Copper is expensive to mine and refine.The high costs of financing a major mine are reflected in the fact that many of the mines with the most production capacity are either state-owned or owned by major mining corporations like BHP and Freeport-McMoRan.

The list below is compiled from theInternational Copper Study Group'sWorld Copper Factbook 2019. Beside each mine's name is the country that it is located in and its annual production capacity in metric kilotons. Ametric ton is equal to about 2,200 pounds. A metric kiloton (kt) is 1,000 metric tons.

The Escondida copper mine in Chile's Atacama desert is jointly owned by BHP (57.5%), Rio Tinto Corp. (30%), and Japan Escondida (12.5%). In 2012, the massive Escondida mine accounted for 5% of total global copper mine production. Gold and silver are extracted as by-products from the ore.

Chile's second-largest copper mine, Collahuasi, is owned by a consortium of Anglo American (44%), Glencore (44%), Mitsui (8.4%), and JX Holdings (3.6%). Collahuasimine produces copper concentrate and cathodes as well asmolybdenum concentrate.

The Morenci mine in Arizona is the largest copper mine in North America. Operated by Freeport-McMoRan, the mine is jointly owned by the company (72%) and affiliates of the Sumitomo Corporation (28%). Morenci operations began in 1872, underground mining began in 1881, and open-pit mining began in 1937.

Cerro Verde copper mine, located 20 miles southwest of Arequipa in Peru, has been operational in its current form since 1976. Freeport-McMoRan, which holds a 54% interest, is the mine's operator. Other stakeholders include SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal (21%), Compaia de Minas Buenaventura (19.58%), and public shareholders through the Lima Stock Exchange (5.86%).

The Antamina mine is located 170 miles north of Lima. Silver and zinc are also separated from the ore produced at Antamina. The mine is jointly owned by BHP (33.75%), Glencore (33.75%), Teck (22.5%), and Mitsubishi Corp. (10%).

The world's largest underground mine, El Teniente, is located in the Andes of central Chile. Owned and operated byChilean state copper minerCodelco, El Teniente has been mined since the 19th century.

Chile's state-owned Codelco owns and operates the Codelco Norte (or Chuquicamata)copper mine in northern Chile. One of the world's largest open-pit mines, Chuquicamata has been in operation since 1910, producing refined copper and molybdenum.

The largest copper mine in Africa, Kansanshi is owned and operated by Kansanshi Mining PLC, which is 80%owned by a First Quantum subsidiary. The remaining 20% is owned by a subsidiary of ZCCM. The mine is located approximately 6miles north of the town of Solwezi and 112milesto the northwest of the Copperbelt town of Chingola.

The Grasberg mine, located in the highlands of Indonesia's Papua province, boasts the world's largest gold reserve and second-largest copper reserve. The mine is operated by PT Freeport Indonesia Co., and the mine is a joint venture between regional and national government authorities in Indonesia (51.2%) and Freeport-McMoRan (48.8%).

Kamoto is an underground mine that was first opened by the state-owned company Gcamines in 1969. The mine was restarted under Katanga Mining LTD control in 2007. While Katanga owns the majority of the operation (75%), 86.33% of Katanga itself is owned by Glencore. The remaining 25% of the Kamoto mine is still owned by Gcamines.

TheBingham Canyon Mine, more commonly known asKennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mine southwest ofSalt Lake City. Kennecott is the sole owner and operator of this mine. The mine was started back in 1903. Operations continue through all hours of day and night, 365 days a year, but tourists can visit the mine to learn more and see the canyon in person.

Construction of the Sentinel copper mine began in 2012, and by 2016, commercial production was underway. The mine is 100% owned by First Quantum Minerals Ltd. The Candian company entered into Zambian mining in 2010, with the purchase of Kiwara PLC.

Olympic Dam, which is 100%owned by BHP,is a copper, gold, silver, and uranium mine. The dam operates both on the surface and underground, including more than 275 miles of underground roads and tunnels.

indonesian miners eyeing ev nickel boom seek to dump waste into the sea

indonesian miners eyeing ev nickel boom seek to dump waste into the sea

Now, companies building the nations first factories to produce the elements that power electric vehicles are seeking permission to dump billions of tons of potentially toxic waste into the waters of the Coral Triangle, home to the highest diversity of corals and reef fishes anywhere on the planet.

In January, two companies presented plans to use the method, known as deep-sea tailings disposal, or DSTD, to Indonesias Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs, according to presentation documents seen by Mongabay.

Neither company appears to have received permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, which must approve the practice, though factories pitching to dump waste in the ocean are already under construction.

Environmental advocates and researchers worry that the quest to profit from the global clean-energy transition will come at a cost to marine life in the Coral Triangle, a region encompassing part of Indonesia and several other countries in the western Pacific.

Nickel mining, increasingly pushed to meet rising demand for batteries, has long been a core industry for Indonesia. Smelting for battery nickel produces large amounts of acidic waste full of heavy metals, and how to deal with the waste is one of the most important decisions in a smelting project.

Fewer than 20 nickel mines around the world dispose of their waste into the sea, but the proposals in Indonesia indicate that the projects would become some of the worlds biggest in terms of production and waste.

Companies often choose DSTD as a cost-efficient or safer option to manage tailings, the byproducts left over from extracting metals from ore. Its an alternative to constructing a dam to store the tailings or spending money to treat the waste so it can be returned to the ground.

The practice, however, remains controversial if not only because research on it is scant. Scientists say that historically, data from environmental impact studies carried out before construction, monitoring during use, and post-mining rehabilitation have failed to uphold rigorous standards, if they are recorded at all.

I dont think we should be using the marine environment as a garbage dump, said Amanda Reichelt-Brushett, a professor of environmental toxicology at Australias Southern Cross University, whose studies have shown that increased nickel ore in the ocean can damage coral in just four days.

Indonesia, the worlds top producer of nickel, recently banned exports of the ore in a bid to encourage investment in processing plants at home, especially for the chemical compounds increasingly used in electric vehicle and renewable-energy storage batteries.

In two years, the country plans to add 30 new nickel smelters, a handful of them specifically designated to produce battery nickel. (Most of these smelters would produce nickel for use in the manufacture of stainless steel, and do not plan to use DSTD.)

In January, a week after the export ban went into effect, PT Trimegah Bangun Persada (TBP) and PT Hua Pioneer Indonesia (HPI) presented their plans for DSTD at the coordinating investment ministrys office in Jakarta. Officials from the ministries of environment and fisheries were also in attendance.

HPI is set to manage the waste for four factories now under construction in Indonesias largest nickel industrial park, in Morowali, Central Sulawesi province. Those smelters are being built by Chinese-owned firms: Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, GEM Group, PT Fajar Metal Industry, and PT Teluk Metals Industry. The latter two are subsidiaries of Tsingshan Group, which runs the Morowali park.

In its presentation to government officials, TBP laid out plans to dump 6 million tons of tailings into the ocean each year. HPI wants to dump 25 million tons per year, which would make it one of the biggest DSTD projects in the world.

At each project, a high-pressure acid leaching plant would extract thousands of tons of nickel and cobalt from the ore, leaving behind millions of tons of waste laden with toxic heavy metals such as arsenic.

Under the companies plans, a network of pipes would discharge the tailings at a depth of 150-250 meters (490-820 feet) below sea level, where they would then be presumed to sink to the sea floor at least a kilometer (3,300 ft) below the surface, according to presentation documents.

A third company, PT Sulawesi Cahaya Mineral (SCM), which did not participate in the presentation, is also seeking approval for DSTD and has received permission from the governor of Central Sulawesi, according to the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), an Indonesian environmental NGO. It still needs approval from the environment ministry before it can carry out the practice. The firm did not respond to a request for comment.

At the meeting, several scientists from Indonesian universities also presented analyses in favor of the practice, although some indicated there wasnt enough data to conclude whether tailings in the ocean would be affected by upwelling, a process in which deep, cold water rises to the surface. Some scientists have warned that upwelling could make it harder to predict where the tailings will land.

Asked to review the presentations, physical oceanographer John Luick, who has researched DSTD around the world, wrote in an email to Mongabay that the information they contained would give me no confidence, if I were, for example, the regulatory body responsible for issuing the permit.

For all we know, the density gradient, which is what suppresses upwelling, could be nil, Luick said. I would place very little faith in the results from either of the hydrodynamic models [included in the presentations].

Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, the director general of waste management at the environment ministry, said she wasnt aware of any applications from companies to carry out DSTD. Sayed Muhadar, the ministrys director of toxic waste management, said the same thing. The environment minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, did not respond to a request for comment.

On the same day of the presentation, the coordinating investment minister, Luhut Pandjaitan, announced the approval of environmental studies for the Morowali factories seeking permission to dump waste at sea. At the same time, he reportedly could not say whether the smelters had received permission for DSTD.

Both the mineral mining industry and the scientific community agree there is a lack of adequate information on the impacts of mine-waste disposal in the deep sea, according to the most recent report from the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), a U.N. agency.

Indonesia holds the hotspot of biodiversity for coral reefs and reef fishes, so they have a responsibility, but we also have a responsibility to protect the systems, said Reichelt-Brushett, the environmental toxicology professor. We cant just put it all on one country to protect something thats globally significant.

These projects will adversely affect the lives of coastal communities, especially small-scale fishers or traditional fishers whose lives are highly dependent on marine and fisheries resources in the local waters, he told Mongabay.

In one of the only studies ever done on the effects of DSTD, researchers in 2015 linked ongoing dumping to declining marine life at two mines in Papua New Guinea, which is also part of the Coral Triangle. The study concluded that the waters around one closed mine, on Misima Island, was experiencing continued effects of the mine three and a half years after closure, though they were not able to compare the data to a baseline study. At the open mine, on Lihir Island, impacts were felt as far as 20 kilometers (12 miles) away.

At the Ramu nickel project in Papua New Guinea, similar to the ones under construction in Indonesia, a Chinese-owned smelter deposits 5 million tons of waste into the sea each year, a fraction of the waste planned in Indonesia. Last year, a coastal spill there turned oceans a crimson red. A research team found that mass fish deaths, concentrations of heavy metals, and never-before-seen arsenic bacteria mud resulted from inadequate waste management linked to its DSTD practice.

Walhi, an Indonesian environmental NGO, says marine life declined along the coast of the Batu Hijau mine between 2006 and 2010. In 2011, the group tried in vain to persuade officials not to renew permits for the mines former owner, U.S.-based Newmont Corporation.

In the companies presentations in Jakarta, DSTD was portrayed as preferable to the most common method of tailings management, storage behind a dam. Tailings dams were ruled out due to the difficulty in securing land, cost, and the potential for an earthquake to collapse the dam.

There are other ways to deal with tailings, researchers say. One is to create a heavier paste from the waste, making it easier to control and prevent from contaminating wildlife or marine life, whether dealt with on land or in the ocean. In studying mine waste in China, a group of researchers last year wrote that paste technology is a research hotspot but due to the harsh implementation environment of the mining industry, there is still a long way to go in research.

Viable, affordable alternatives are proven and broadly employed across the mining industry, she said. The best available technology given the geology and hydrology of the region would be putting tailings back into the pits and tunnels the ore came from.

As of 2015, there were 16 mines around the world that practiced DSTD. Seven were in Norway, three in PNG, and one each in Chile, the U.K., France, Greece, Turkey and Indonesia. Just the four mines in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea contribute 91% of an estimated 227 million tons of tailings dumped into the ocean, according to Earthworks, although that figure includes river dumping.

Submarine tailings disposal, Moore said, using an alternative name for the practice, is a harmful, outdated practice that decimates marine life and destroys the livelihoods of fishing-dependent communities.

Each DSTD project is highly dependent upon the local conditions of hydrodynamics, waste composition and even underwater geography, says Renee Grogan, co-chair of the DSTD working group at the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI).

DOSI aims to promote best practices in DSTD projects rather than contest its use. It has been working with other groups to create an internationally accepted guideline to monitor and enforce rigorous scientific environmental impact assessments before dumping begins. GESAMP, the U.N.-sponsored group, plans to release a report with guidance on regulations and available knowledge this year.

Among the components of a suggested guideline, while not established yet, would be robust impact assessments, monitoring, and rehabilitation measures that monitor the seabed to ensure marine environments can be returned to their unadulterated state.

After finding an accepted guideline, the biggest challenge is to enforce it. One method, Grogan says, is persuading financing bodies like the World Banks International Finance Corporation to refuse projects if they dont uphold clean, standard practices of DSTD.

grasberg copper-gold mine

grasberg copper-gold mine

The Grasberg mine operated by Freeport McMoRan and jointly owned by Freeport and Rio Tinto is one of the largest mining clusters on the globe. The mine is located in the very remote highlands of the Sudirman mountain range in the province of Papua, Indonesia. The Grasberg ore bodies contain very high combined copper-gold grades, especially when considering the size of production.

The ore bodies within and around the Grasberg main intrusion have been created due to the distinct structural and lithological contact of the intrusion with the surrounding limestone. The extensive development for the existing and planned underground operations will pass through areas of challenging geotechnical ground conditions especially at contact zones from the igneous complexes to the sediments. Challenging underground conditions demand high requirements for the underground support.

For the Grasberg block cave alone, 30,000 meters of development for ventilation and conveyor declines are constructed, which represents a challenge from both, a logistics and a planning point of view. Long transport distances require long open time of the concrete when leaving the batch plant to the point of use. As the mine is located in an area with large amounts of annual rainfall, the underground development faces areas which high pressure and high volume water inflows. Furthermore, the risk of elevated rock stresses and rock bursts is increasing when reaching deeper levels of the underground infrastructure and hence, good yielding properties of the shotcrete liner is necessary to take up the increased dynamic loads.

Freeport McMoRan and its main contractors such as Redpath are long standing partners of Sika. Sika supplies large quantities of supplies to the Grasberg operation including concrete admixtures for self- compacting shaft lining concrete and shotcrete, shotcrete accelerators, two component injection resins and refurbishment products. Especially for the rapid underground development, high performing Sika Sigunit shotcrete accelerators are in use to reach high early strength of the shotcrete that allow short cycle times. The extensive development of the Main Grasberg block cave (GBC) is solely supported by Sika admixtures. Sika trains shotcrete applicators at the mine site and fulfills highest environmental, health and safety standards for the materials supplied.

copper mining in indonesia to 2023

copper mining in indonesia to 2023

Copper Mining in Indonesia to 2023SummaryGlobalData's Copper Mining in Indonesia to 2023 comprehensively covers Indonesia's reserves of copper, historic and forecast trends in the country's copper production and the key active, exploration and development copper mines and projects. The report also analyses factors affecting the countrys demand for copper, and profiles the major copper producers.After a sharp decline in 2017, Indonesias copper production is estimated to have recovered by 5% to 653.4 thousand tonnes (kt) in 2018. The increase was primarily supported by an 18% rise in production from the Grasberg minerals district, which hosts the Grasberg Open Pit, the Deep Ore Zone, the Big Gossan, and the Deep Mill Level Zone mines. The Grasberg open pit mine is the countrys largest copper producing mine.It is currently undergoing a planned transition to underground operations and, while mining activities have partially commenced, the transition is having a significant impact on the countrys overall production levels. Initially, the countrys copper production is expected to fall by a significant 42.1% to 378.3kt in 2019, and then by an additional 2.4% to 369.4kt in 2020. Subsequently, the full ramp-up of the Grasberg underground mine will support growth in the countrys production levels to 701.9kt in 2023, with daily average production capacity at the mine gradually increasing from 30kt in 2020 to 130kt in 2023.Key HighlightsTo gain an understanding of Indonesia's copper mining industry, relevant driving factorsTo understand historical and forecast trend on country's copper production, consumption and exportsScopeAfter a sharp decline in 2017, Indonesias copper production is estimated to have recovered by 5% to 653.4 thousand tonnes (kt) in 2018. The increase was primarily supported by an 18% rise in production from the Grasberg minerals district, which hosts the Grasberg Open Pit, the Deep Ore Zone, the Big Gossan, and the Deep Mill Level Zone mines.The Grasberg open pit mine is the countrys largest copper producing mine. It is currently undergoing a planned transition to underground operations and, while mining activities have partially commenced, the transition is having a significant impact on the countrys overall production levels.Initially, the countrys copper production is expected to fall by a significant 42.1% to 378.3kt in 2019, and then by an additional 2.4% to 369.4kt in 2020. Subsequently, the full ramp-up of the Grasberg underground mine will support growth in the countrys production levels to 701.9kt in 2023, with daily average production capacity at the mine gradually increasing from 30kt in 2020 to 130kt in 2023.Reasons to buyThe report analyses Indonesia's copper mining industry, with details of reserves, production trends and forecasts, the competitive landscape and a listing of the major active, exploration and development projects.

Executive SummaryCopper Mining in Indonesia Reserves, Production, Consumption, Exports, and DemandCopper Reserves by CountryTable Figure 1: Copper Mining in Indonesia Reserves by Country (%), February 2019Table Copper Mining in Indonesia Reserves by Country (Million Tonnes), February 2019Historical and Forecast ProductionTable Figure 2: Copper Mining in Indonesia Historical and Forecast Copper Mine Production (Thousand Tonnes) vs Number of Operating Mines, 20002023Table Copper Mining in Indonesia Historical and Forecast Copper Mine Production (Thousand Tonnes), 20002023Copper pricesTable Figure 3: Copper Mining in Indonesia Quarterly Copper Prices (US$/Tonne), 2014-2019Table Copper Mining in Indonesia Copper Quarterly Prices (US$/Tonne), 20142019Active MinesTable Copper Mining in Indonesia Active Mines, 2019Exploration ProjectsTable Copper Mining in Indonesia Exploration Projects, 2019Development ProjectsTable Copper Mining in Indonesia Development Projects, 2019Consumption vs ExportsTable Figure 4: Copper Mining in Indonesia Consumption vs Exports (Thousand Tonnes), 20002023Table Copper Mining in Indonesia Consumption vs Exports (Thousand Tonnes), 20002023Table Figure 5: Copper Mining in Indonesia Exports by Country (%), 2018Table Copper Mining in Indonesia Exports by Country (Thousand Tonnes), 2018Factors Affecting the Demand for CopperDemand from JapanTable Figure 6: Copper Mining in Indonesia Indonesian Exports to Japan vs Refined Copper and Alloys Exports from Japan (Thousand Tonnes), 20012018Demand from China's EV marketTable Figure 7: Copper Mining in Indonesia China's Total NEVs Production and Sales by Type (Thousand Units), 20182019Table Figure 8: Copper Mining in Indonesia Number of EV Sales in China (Million Units), 2018-2023Major Producers of CopperTable Figure 9: Copper Mining in Indonesia Comparison of Companies by Revenue (US$ Million), 20152018PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI)Table Copper Mining in Indonesia PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), Major Projects, 2019PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara (PTAMNT)Table Copper Mining in Indonesia PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara (PTAMNT), Major Projects, 2019AppendixAbbreviationsMethodologyCoverageSecondary ResearchContact UsDisclaimer

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