Smelter Construction To Worsen Tribal Suffering


Jayapura, Jubi – There has been opposition to the plan to build a smelter in Mimika, Papua, which allegedly is not involving indigenous customary owners, the Kamoro.

A member of Papua Legislative Council Laurenzus Kadepa said if the Kamoro people are not involved, the smelter should not be built.

He said, Freeport is one of entities that have made Kamoro, and other tribes in Mimika suffer.
“During this time indigenous peoples in Mimika, especially Kamoro is suffering from Freeport waste. If the Kamoro, as customary owner is not involved, I am worried they will be suffering, ” Laurenzus Kadepa said to Jubi this week.

According to him, for what purpose the smelter is built, if it does not benefit the society. Do not force the development just for the benefit of the government and Freeport. He said indigenous peoples in Mimika especially Kamoro is tortured by Freport tailing. Rivers and the sea as their livelihoods are now polluted. Their survival is threatened.
” Are there Kamoro people finished his/ her doctorate because of Freeport? Every day they bath with waste or toxins produced by PT. Freeport, “he said.

He also hoped, tribal agency Kamoro (Lemakso) to seriously protect all citizens. Do not let them only speak on behalf of the community.
“Their rich natural resources have fed thousands of people, unfortunately, they are actually suffering on its own natural wealth. Is that what we called “ peace”? “he stated.


Continued, the dark history when Freeport entered Mimika should not happen again. At that time the central government made a unilateral successor agreement with the American mining, without involving indigenous peoples.

Earlier, another member of DPRP, Wilhelmus Pigai assessed that LEMASKO rejection was reasonable because the government went to Mimika secretly and did not involve the local indigenous peoples in determining the location of the construction of the smelter. (Arjuna Pademme/ Tina)

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