Dozens Taken In By Police In West Papua Amid Mine Dispute

Conflict reportedly over access to mine ‘tailings’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 14, 2016) – Police in Papua have taken nearly a hundred people in for questioning amid accusations they had taken tailings from a mining site in Mimika.

The Jakarta Post reports 21 people were still being questioned and are alleged to have trespassed onto the mine owned by US-based gold and copper mining company Freeport Indonesia.

The paper reports the incident began when about 400 local residents tried to enter on Thursday morning, but they were blocked by around 120 security personnel.

The police say residents tried to burn security posts and damaged several vehicles belonging to the company.

The police said the invasion seemed to have been triggered by residents' suspicions that the company had shut down its operations because in the past month, it had not channeled tailings into a river near the mining site.

Traditional miners have been used to taking the waste to find gold left over in it.

The police told the paper the waste was not being channeled into the river because waste chanelling equipment had been damaged.

Radio New Zealand International 
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