The Freeport mine in Grasberg is the largest gold mine in the world. Majority owned by the US mining company Freeport McMoRan the mine is the cause of an environmental catastrophe in the region. What once was a glacial mountain peak is now a giant crater cut deep into the earth. The contents of the mine, almost a million tonnes of waste have been dumped into the river system, poisoning the local environment and destroying the lives of the tribes that lived there. The corruption at the heart of the Freeport mine runs even deeper than the mine itself. Contracts for the mine were drawn up between Indonesia and Freeport McMoRan in 1965 even before the UN shamefully sanctioned West Papua to become part of Indonesia in 1969 – heavily suggesting interested parties has already agreed on the outcome of the 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice‘. Henry Kissinger helped broker the deal and later joined the board of Freeport McMoRan. The surrounding area is one of the most heavily militarised in the whole of West Papua with Freeport openly paying large sums of money to the Indonesian military for “protection”. The New York Times discovered “from 1998 through 2004, Freeport gave military and police generals, colonels, majors and captains, and military units, nearly $20 million. Individual commanders received tens of thousands of dollars, in one case up to $150,000”.
“We’re going to mine all the way to New Orleans.” Jim Bob Moffett, CEO of Freeport McMoRan