1 Introduction

Asia plays an of import function in today ‘s excavation industry due to important resources of assorted metals and minerals, bring forthing about a 3rd of universe ‘s bauxite and gold, histories for a half of planetary Fe ore production, and for about 70 % of universe ‘s hydraulic cement ( USGS, 2009 ) . Within the part among the largest manufacturers of metals and minerals are China, India, and Indonesia.

Despite the important importance of metals and minerals in modern economic system, excavation activities far excessively frequently lead to terrible environmental debasement, put local communities under force per unit area, cause societal jobs and sometimes go the cause of struggles. Grasberg mine in Indonesia is an expressed illustration of legion issues associated with big graduated table excavation. This paper gives a brief reappraisal of excavation in Grasberg from the construct the three pillars of sustainability, therefore analyzing economical, societal and particularly environmental impacts of this peculiar mine.

2 Economic Impact

Due to the big graduated table of the operations, the Grasberg mine has a immense consequence on the economical state of affairs of Indonesia. Economic benefits include direct, such as revenue enhancement grosss and employment and other indirect and induced economic benefits. The unfastened cavity operations is expected to go on until 2015, than passage will be made to to the full belowground production and the company ( which company, name? ? Need to present this mine company ) is expected to be profitable until 2041, which secures these benefits to Indonesia until that clip ( Freeport 2008 ) .

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The company is the largest revenue enhancement remunerator in Indonesia, merely in 2004 it provided $ 3 billion and between 1992-2004, $ 33 billion direct and indirect benefits, which is 2 % of the GDP of the state and 55 % of the GDP of Irian Jaya state, where the mine is located ( Perlez and Bonner 2005 ) .

Along with economical state of affairs, it besides has a immense consequence on the employment. In 2008 the company had 29,300 employees and 10,700 contractors, about 18,000 people work at the mine which is operated by PT ( what is it? ) Freeport Indonesia ( Freeport 2009 ) . However, the employment impacts are more complex as the excavation activity have created societal tensenesss and wellness impacts such as AIDS and malaria in footings of in-migration, transmigration and urbanisation procedures. ( mention )

Besides direct effects Indonesia benefits from the indirect economic benefits, such as new airdrome, infirmaries and roads, nevertheless these were chiefly built to back up the substructure of the mine. In add-on, the company invested into malaria control and educational AIDSs. Induced effects include rewards, other benefits paid for the workers, purchases of goods and services, which are besides heightening economic development of the state. mention

To decide bing societal and environmental issues the company has established a 1 % trust fund ( 1 % of the company ‘s gross one-year gross ) . Between its initiation in 1996 and 1999 it has been contributed $ 54.8 million and it is planned to go on over the following 10 old ages. In 1999, Freeport contributed US $ 14.4 million to the fund. In contrast in the same twelvemonth the CEO of Freeport, James Robert Moffet made US $ 41 million which is approximately three times of the compensation. Sing an independent survey it has became a new beginning of troubles and struggle ( Kennedy 1998 ) . To decide urbanisation issues and increase grosss and occupations within Papuan communities Freeport cooperates with the U.S. Agency for International Development and has launched the Papua Agribusiness Development Alliance. $ 2 million is allocated to develop agribusiness and agriculture, therefore advancing betterments in agriculture and fishing supports ( Freeport 2009 ) .

Besides official payments the company provided side payments to the authorities functionaries, and spent $ 35 million on military substructure. Harmonizing to company paperss, $ 20- $ 30 million were given to the military and constabularies from 1998 to 2004 ( Perlez and Bonner 2005 ) .

In malice of all these above mentioned benefits and investings, the environmental debasement, societal and wellness issues remain and can ne’er be to the full compensated by the company, but are enforcing immense cost on Indonesia. The cost of lost supports ( fishing, woods, biodiversity etc. ) and environmental harm are difficult to mensurate. Many of the wellness effects can non even be captured as they are chronic.

Based on the above, Freeport Company evidently has a immense consequence on the Indonesian economic system but as it is a foreign investor it besides means that most of the gross is taken out from the state. Another chief issue is that most of its production is supplied as a Cu dressed ore for refinery to other states worldwide depriving Indonesia from related service based employment and induced benefits.

Fortunately, due to societal and political force per unit area, governmental alterations and more demanding environmental outlooks and ordinances increase the force per unit area on Grasberg mine and easy driving the company towards more sustainable excavation patterns ( mention )

2.1 Social Impact

Social impact of Grasberg mine operation chiefly touches three major issues: demographical alterations, substructure development, and human rights misdemeanor. All of these issues address influence on the autochthonal people, Papuan folk. Some of the alterations which the Grasberg mine brought to the part could be considered as betterments in the life criterions such as substructure development. However about all of these alterations touch the inquiry of human rights maltreatments in many dimensions. ( mention )

Irian Jaya, the state where Grasberg mine is situated, is sing a rapid population growing as a consequence of the resettlement policies of the Indonesian authorities ( Wohl 2006 ) . The mine was opened in 1967 when there were no roads and fewer than 1000 people inhabited this country. Over clip the mine drew in 120 000 people from all over Indonesia and now it serves as about the lone one topographic point of employment for local people ( Hills and Welford 2006 ) .

Although the mine operation in the state has lead to infrastructure development such as edifice of roads, an airdrome, a port at Amamapare ( what is it ) , a ropeway, infirmary, lodging, schools and other installations, presents there are a batch of jobs and struggles, peculiarly, in human rights abuses around the Grasberg mine.

The enlargement of excavation caused a batch of protests among local population because the societal impact was chiefly connected with disturbing of the manner of life of autochthonal people, capturing their land, forestalling attempts to seek justness through the tribunals, bankrolling the constabulary and coercing them to resettle. These protests were the other portion of human rights maltreatments which showed up in military intercessions, colzas and slayings of dissenters etc. ( Hills and Welford 2006 ) .

Indonesia ‘s National Commission on Human Rights concluded that clear and identifiable human rights misdemeanors had occurred in and around Freeport ‘s undertaking country, including indiscriminate violent deaths, anguish, inhumane or degrading intervention, improper apprehension, arbitrary detainment, disappearing, inordinate surveillance, and devastation of belongings. The committee noted that these misdemeanors are straight connected with protection for the excavation concern of PT Freeport Indonesia ( Whitmore 2006 ) . Additionally such environmental impacts as H2O and dirt pollution are the misdemeanor of the human right to adequate criterions of life and the right to wellness.

( How to link with old sentence? ) Local autochthonal landholders, the Kamoro and Amungme, have been the topic of coercion and bullying. Their land have been exploited, natural resources stolen and net incomes siphoned off by foreign shareholders and national elites ( Hills and Welford 2006 ) .

3. Environmental Impact

The environmental impact from the excavation activity of Grasberg mine arises chiefly due to two beginnings. These are,

  1. Untreated chasing disposal at the Aghawagon river ( IIED and WBCSD 2002 )
  2. Acid mine drainage ( Kennedy et al. 1998 ) from reeling sum of waste stone generated

3.1 Shadowings

The excavation operations at Grasberg started in 1972 ( Mealey 1996 ) . Riverine disposal of untreated shadowings has been practiced since so ( IIED and WBCSD 2002 ) . The IIED and WBCSD ( 2002 ) reference a 30 fold addition in the shadowings production from 1972 to 2000. As of 2002 about 230,000 dozenss of shadowings are disposed off day-to-day straight from the mine into the Aghanwagon River ( IIED and WBCSD 2002 ) . Fig 3 shows a satellite image of mine country along with the river system through which the shadowings are disposed of.

The Aghanwagon is connected with the Ajkwa river system through Otomona river. Ajkwa river eventually meets the Arafura sea. A comparative analysis for selected parametric quantities with regard to mining outflowing criterions of US-EPA and Canada Fisheries Act and the Grasberg mine wastewater ( Annex 1 ) is presented in the tabular array 1 below ( IIED and WBCSD 2002 ) .

Table 1. Comparison of shadowings features



US EPA criterion

Canada Fisheries Act criterions

pH 11.3 6-9 6-9.5
Sum suspended solids ( mg/l ) 558,584 20 15
As ( mg/l ) 3.94 0.5
Cu ( mg/l ) 536 0.15 0.3
Hg ( mg/l ) & lt ; 0.003 0.001

A expression at the above tabular array would do to grok the monolithic pollution load caused by the direct riverine disposal of untreated shadowings in the environing riverine ecosystem. The negative environmental impacts are chiefly manifested through following two jobs.

3.1.1 Problem of deposit

The IIED and WBCSD ( 2002 ) estimation shadowings lending up to 93 % of the deposit loads in the river system. This has resulted in change of geo-morphology of the river system. ( Watson 1999 ) . Changes in the nearby river classs of Pika, Uamiau and Aimua as reported by Indonesian Ministry of Population and Environment ( Kennedy et al. 1998 ) further reinforce this claim. Watson ( 1999 ) has estimated that less than 5 % of the entire shadowings reach the Arafura Sea. The shadowing disposals have created an unreal inundation field in the Ajkwa riverine system ( Kennedy et al. 1998 ) . A obstruction of Ajkwa river in mid-1990s caused unreal inundation in the river field ( Watson 1999 ) .

In response to the obstruction of the river the company have constructed levees to lodge and incorporate shadowings in the designated inundation field of the river, termed as Ajkwa Deposition Area ( ADA ) ( IIED and WBCSD 2002 ) . The levees are 40 kilometers long, constructed on both bank of the low prevarication inundation field of the Ajkwa river. This has resulted in the devastation of of 30 km2 of rain forest by 2002, and finally entire loss of rain forest in the ADA has been estimated to be 230 km2 ( IIED and WBCSD 2002 ) .

In mid-1995 an American research worker have conducted trials of river deposits at Timika, which is the nearest human colony from the mine ( Kennedy et al.1998 ) . The consequences of these trials along with a comparing of Australia and New Zealand ‘s National Health and Medical Research Council ‘s ( NHMRC ) criterions for contaminated sites are presented below.

Table 2. Selected heavy metal concentration at riverine deposits in Timika

( Kennedy et al. 1998 )

Copper ( ppm ) Zinc ( ppm ) Lead ( ppm )
Ajkwa river deposit 2290 53.3 1.35
( NHMRC ) guidelines for contaminated site 60 200 300

Noteworthy from the above tabular array is the inordinate sum of Copper taint. A more recent survey by Brunskill et Al ( 2004 ) has calculated the fluxes of Copper, Zinc and Lead in the Ajkwa river basin. The present fluxes as compared to the background fluxes ( before 1950 ) from the survey are presented below.

Table 3. Fluxs of heavy metals at Ajkwa river basin ( Brunskill et al. 1998 )

Site Cu flux ( mmol Cu m-2 yr -1 ) Zn flux ( mmol Cu m-2 yr -1 ) Pb flux ( mmol Cu m-2 yr -1 )
3 Background 3 9 0.68
Present 137 18 1.5
4 Background 7.8 16 1.3
Present 204 28 2.2
5 Background 6.6 11 1.1
Present 129 21 1.8

These consequences are peculiarly dismaying for Copper. Since the addition in the background degree is every bit high as 40 times. This study besides shows that this rise in flux absolutely syncs with the rise in production degree of the mine. Sing these high flux rates of the selected metal, the concentration of these metals in the riverine deposits should be much higher now as compared to degrees indicated in Table 2.

3.1.2 Impact on H2O

The impact of shadowings disposal on H2O quality of the Ajkwa River is terrible. Ortman and Subra ( 2000 ) conducted field trials to measure extent of the pollution ( Annex I, table B ) . These informations are compared on two degrees. The first comparing has been made with regard to imbibing H2O quality against World Health Organisation ( 2008 ) guideline values ( Table 4 ) . The 2nd comparing is made with regard to toxic effects on aquatic biology ( Table 5 ) .

Table 4. Comparison of H2O quality with regard to WHO guideline values

Mill Discharge Otomona Bridge Mid ADA WHO guideline value
As ( mg/l ) 3.94 0.126 0.045 0.01
Cadmium ( mg/l ) 0.24 0.007 0.001 0.003
Cu ( mg/l ) 536 13.13 4.65 2
Hg ( mg/l ) 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.006
Se ( mg/l ) 0.294 0.002 0.002 0.01

The above comparing clearly demonstrates that the river H2O is rendered non-potable by the mine pollution. In fact in 1997, functionary of the local authorities warned local people against imbibing of the river H2O and gave it a “D” public heath evaluation ( Kennedy et al. 1998 ) .

Table 5. Comparison of H2O quality with regard to toxicity

Mill Discharge Otomona Bridge Mid ADA Toxic degree Beginning
As ( mg/l ) 3.94 0.126 0.045 1.85 Tisler and Zagorc-Konean ( 2003 )
Cadmium ( mg/l ) 0.24 0.007 0.001 0.01 Mallett et Al. ( 1992 )
Cu ( mg/l ) 536 13.13 4.65 0.015 Tisler and Zagorc-Konean ( 2003 )
Hg ( mg/l ) 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.000026 Canadian Water Quality Guideline
Se ( mg/l ) 0.294 0.002 0.002 0.002 Lemly ( 1992 )

Therefore, it can be seen from above that apart from quicksilver the concentrations of heavy metals at the factory discharge location is higher than the aquatic toxic degrees. Particularly for Cu, at all location the measured value is higher than the toxic degree. Locals have reported disappearing of many species of fish from the river ( Chatterjee 1996 ) . An fact-finding study by New York Times has stated the river to be virtually barren of any fish ( Perlez and Bonner 2005 ) .

3.2 Acid Mine Drainage

3.2.1 Beginning of Acid Mine Drainage

In the late phases of formation procedure of the Grasberg ore, native sulfur was deposited in fool’s gold venas ( Friehauf 2002 ) . When oxidization takes topographic point in deposited shadowings of the ore, acidic conditions can bit by bit develop when Cu sulfide minerals are present ( IIED 2002 ) . Under acerb conditions, metals in the ore may be mobilized. This acerb H2O bearing heavy metals, if non decently treated, may do irreversible pollution of groundwater ( TCE 2008 ) .

In 1993, it was reported for the first clip that sedimentation sites in Grasberg contained AMD ( Perlez and Bonner 2005 ) .Different types of Cu sulfide found in the ore can be illustrated by a sample ( Fig.4 ) . Taken from cardinal stockwork zone of the Grasberg ore, copper pyrites ( brasslike yellow-orange ) , bornite ( dark blue-purple ) , and covellite ( violet or light blue ) can be seen from the specimen. ( FCX 2004 ) . The mine waste incorporating these sulphide bearing minerals, particularly chalcopyrite and bornite, can exercise important environmental impacts in the part ( IIED 2002 ) .

3.2.2 Environmental Impacts of Acid Mine Drainage

The Grasberg mine has three billion dozenss of waste stone and shadowings ( Kennedy et al.1998 ) . The local clime is every bit wet as holding 12 pess of rain a twelvemonth, which contributes to oxidization of the mine waste and shadowings ( Perlez and Bonner 2005 ) . In Freeport ‘s audit, AMD has been reported fluxing into nearby watercourses ( Kennedy et al. 1998 ) . To cover with the job of AMD, neutralisation procedure is added to the concentration process of Cu ( Golder Associates 1994 ) . The company says that this drainage is treated by roll uping the overflow and neutralizing it with limestone ( Perlez and Bonner 2005 ) . In one study in congratulations of the mine, it is stated that the shadowing river and the deposition country meets Indonesian and US Environmental Protection Agency imbibing H2O criterions for dissolved metals ( IM 2009 ) .

However, several independent surveies and audits have shown much less optimistic state of affairs. The impact on local H2O system is important. Neutralization capableness of limestone in the milieus is finite, so once it is depleted, big sum of toxic metals from the mine will leach into local rivers and H2O system ( Kennedy 1998 ) . It is disclosed that light-green springs could already be seen several stat mis off, which indicates the leach-out of Cu from the drainage has traveled a long distance ( Perlez and Bonner 2005 ) . For illustration, in the Wanagon H2O catchment basin, the acid leachate precipitates when neutralized with calcium hydroxide, and accretion has already started near the lake ( IIED 2002 ) , which may impact the deposit. Ajkwa Deposition Area and estuaries of the Arafura Sea may besides be affected by AMD ( Bryce 2005a ) . Groundwater taint has been detected in the Highlandss of Grasberg ( TCE 2008 ) , and in 1999, pollution of groundwater became important in Timika, a town lying below the mine ( Bryce 2005b ) . Furthermore, the Lorentz park is another focal point of concern, because the AMD has polluted the springs in the park and affected its ecological diverseness ( TCE 2008 ) . The Lorentz glaciers ( Figure 5 ) are besides at hazard ( McGinley 2008 ) .

To sum up, the clime status in Grasberg aggravates the job of AMD, which has caused pollution to H2O systems including the shadowing river and deposition countries. The nearby World heritage site, Lorentz Park, is besides at hazard due to impact from AMD.


Annex I

Table A. Tailings features ( IIED and WBCSD 2002 )

Shadowings solids analysis mg/Kg ( dry footing ) Plant discharge – slurry ( mg/l )
Dissolved Entire
pH 11.3
Sum suspended solids 558,584
Aluminum 28,900
As 49 & lt ; 0.002 3.94
Cadmium 0.33 & lt ; 0.0002 0.24
Copper 6,600 0.002 536
Fe 56,600
Lead 30
Manganese 1,400
Mercury 0.01 & lt ; 0.0003 & lt ; 0.0003
Selenium 3 & lt ; 0.002 0.294
Zinc 200 0.060 61.1

Table B. Water quality at different points at the Ajkwa deposition country

( Ortman and Subra 2000 )

Mill Discharge Otomona Bridge Mid ADA US EPA criterion ANZECC criterion
Concentration ( mg/l )
Dissolved Entire Dissolved Entire Dissolved Entire
Sum suspended solids 558,58 12,81 4,968
As & lt ; 0.002 3.94 & lt ; 0.002 0.126 & lt ; 0.002 0.045
Cadmium & lt ; 0.0002 0.24 & lt ; 0.0002 0.007 & lt ; 0.0002 0.001
Copper 0.002 536 0.010 13.13 0.011 4.65 0.0029 0.005
Mercury & lt ; 0.0003 & lt ; 0.0003 & lt ; 0.0003 & lt ; 0.0003 & lt ; 0.0003 & lt ; 0.0003
Selenium & lt ; 0.002 0.294 & lt ; 0.002 & lt ; 0.002 & lt ; 0.002 & lt ; 0.002
Zinc 0.060 61.1 0.002 1.8 0.002 0.536


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