When Papua’s misery does not match Java’s living standards

Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources has lectured the mining giant PT Freeport Indonesian on how it should view the remote province of Papua.

The company has been under pressure to build a smelter in Papua, after it announced it would build one in Gresik, on Java.

This week the company, which runs the world’s second biggest copper and gold mine in the remote and underdeveloped Papua province, said it would also build a smelter there.

The Minister, Sudirman Said, has told the Tempo news organisation Freeport needs to take into account the changes in the province and remember that people cannot be treated as they were 40 years ago, when the mine was set up.

The Indonesian government has come under heavy criticism for not developing the region and allowing military and police brigades to act with impunity in dealing with local issues.

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