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JAYAPURA, Indonesia (October 29, 2001 - Asia Pulse/Antara/Joyo Indonesian News/TAPOL)---PT. Freeport Indonesia, a U.S. copper and gold mining company in Papua, pays a benefit of US$ 1.6 billion to the Indonesian government every year, a provincial official said.

D. Asmuruf, the secretary of the regional administration, said last weekend that only 20 percent of the fund was distributed back to Papua and the producing districts in that province.

Asmuruf said the status of special autonomy given to Papua is expected to contribute to improving the welfare of the people of the country's most backward province.

He did not say what portion of the revenues will go to Papua under the new status of special autonomy.

The regional administration has demanded a fairer split of income from the province.

Asmuruf said PT Freeport is expected to be transparent about its revenues from its copper and gold mining to the regional administration and the community to prevent suspicion.

Paul Barber TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign 25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ Tel/Fax: 01420 80153 Email:  Internet: 

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