Landslide kills 1 near Freeport mine in Indonesia

A man collecting trace amounts of gold near a giant U.S.-owned mine was killed and several others were injured in a landslide in the remote Indonesian province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.

Rescuers are looking for other victims of the landslide in the village of Utikini, some two miles (three kilometers) from the Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Mine Inc., said Priyadi Kardono, the spokesman for Indonesia’s Disaster Management Agency. The company had sent heavy equipment to help the rescue efforts, according to spokesman Ramdani Sirait.

The man’s body was found early Tuesday, along with 21 injured people, Kardono said. The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital in the company’s compound.

Many traditional miners earn their living retrieving tiny amounts of gold and copper from the leftover, or tailings, of mines, a practice that is banned by Freeport because it is considered dangerous.

Sirait said all the victims were local people because the landslide occurred out of Freeport’s mine area of Tembagapura.

Landslides kill dozens of people every year in Indonesia, a vast tropical archipelago spanning more than 17,000 islands.

Source: The Associated Press

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Filed under Environtment, Papua

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