A mountain laid bare, the open-pit Grasberg gold and copper mine is the largest single gold deposit and third largest copper deposit in the world, located at 3000m. Operated by U.S.-based Freeport-McMoRan, the open-pit behemoth straddles the lofty spine where the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates collide, a zone of great mineral wealth. Freeport has recently identified an additional 75 sites in the highlands for possible drilling. While a boon to the national economy, the mining giant has met fierce opposition from tribal groups who claim tailings have caused the flooding of their lands.
Irian Jaya (West Papua) is the western half of the island of New Guinea, and the most eastern province of Indonesia. Irian Jaya (West Papua) is the western half of the island of New Guinea, and the most eastern province of Indonesia.
- ©1993 George Steinmetz
- Image Size
- 7329x4939 / 103.6MB