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Two Mining Companies Operating in National Park

Two mining companies are operating in a 2.5 million-hectare national park in Indonesia's remote Irian Jaya province, according to environmental groups in the region. Apparently PT Montague Mimika and PT Nabire Bakti Mining have conducted surveys in the Lorentz National Park in Irian Jaya, one of Indonesia's most biologically diverse areas.

A 1990 law allows only non-intrusive educational activities and environmental research in national parks. Lorentz became a national park in 1997. But legal ambiguities surrounding natural resource management and a lack of transparency in the government's granting of exploitation concessions threatened the park.

Lorentz National Park stretches from the mountains in central Irian Jaya to its southern coast. It shares a highland border with an area leased to PT Freeport Indonesia, which operates the world's largest copper and gold mine there. The park is home to Indonesia's highest peak and one of 3 glaciers in the world found in tropical areas. Seven tribes live within its borders, along with 350 bird species and 123 of the province's 154 mammal species. (Reuters, July 22, 1998).

Source: Drillbits & Tailings, August 7, 1998; Volume 3, No.15

For reference only. Not to be reproduced without permission from the source.

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