//US Suspends Mining in Indonesia

US Suspends Mining in Indonesia

Jakarta, Feb 22 (Prensa Latina) Strong protests in Indonesia, over concern for increased pollution, forced US transnational Freeport mine to suspend operations in that country Wednesday.

Hundreds of local workers blocked highways with access to the mines after clashes with security forces Tuesday.

Mindo Pangaribuan, Freeport spokesperson, said the company decided to suspend operations due to worker protests.

Previously, Minister of Environment Rachmat Witoelar had accused Freeport of causing high levels of pollution in that eastern province, where it exploits a one of the largest and most profitable goldmines in the world.

The population around the mining fields have been seriously affected by water pollution and the destruction of forests and roads and are firmly rejecting continued mining operations.

Freeport was similarly accused of paying nearly 20 million dollars to the Indonesian military and police to guarantee its security from 1998 to 2004