Indonesia: Freeport has cost $13 billion losses in environmental damage, says BPK

The Jakarta Post 20 Mar 18;

The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) has said that ecological damage resulting from PT Freeport Indonesia's (PTFI) mining operations in Papua had caused Rp 185 trillion (US$12.95 billion) in state losses.

“Based on the calculations of experts at IPB [the Bogor Institute of Agriculture], the environmental damage caused by Freeport’s mining waste reached Rp 185 trillion,” BPK commissioner Rizal Djalil said in Jakarta on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.

He added that the mining company dumped its waste into forests, rivers and estuaries.

Rizal said the BPK had received data on the scale of the damage from the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan). He added that Freeport Indonesia also utilized 4,536 hectares of protected forest for their operations in direct violation of Law No. 19/2004 on Forestry.

“It has been 333 days since we issued the report, but it has not been followed up,” said Rizal, adding that the BPK had recommended sanctions for the company to the Environment and Forestry Ministry and the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.

Meanwhile, Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said the company had followed up on two BPK reports on violating the license on the use of protected forests and its environmental impact.

Riza said the ministry had imposed administrative sanctions on Freeport in October 2017 for violating the terms of the environment permit. (bbn)

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