The $100bn gold mine and the West Papuans who say they are counting the cost. Grasberg mine in the Indonesian region has been a source of untold wealth for its owners, but local communities say it has brought poverty and oppression (2016)
GUARDIAN UK: Today, these remote, sharp-edged mountains are part of West Papua, Indonesia, and home to the Grasberg mine, one of the biggest gold mines – and third largest copper mine – in the world. Majority-owned by the American mining firm Freeport McMoRan, Grasberg is now Indonesia’s biggest taxpayer, with reserves worth an estimated $100bn (£80bn).
EARTH CUSTODIANS: The biggest taxpayer, that remains to be seen, but with a lot of power irrevocably for sure. Generally at that business level, firms pay little to no taxes but spend a lot on lobbying. But the gold industry went farther when coming up with cyanidation, an early 1900’s breakthrough, to extract colossal profits from low grade ores. Greed cannot be satisfied. But the use of extremely dangerous chemicals is not restricted to gold mines only. Sulfuric acid is used for copper for example. (see link at bottom page). Precious metals as money? No thanks, sorry!
But a recent fact-finding mission (by the Brisbane Archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission) described a “slow-motion genocide” (pdf) taking place in West Papua, warning that its indigenous population is at risk of becoming “an anthropological museum exhibit of a bygone culture”.
Greed has caused countless genocides. All wars are genocides after all. But in time of war it is supposedly more legal to kill. And only the losers are accused of committing genocides. Such paradoxical views are the result of our political power games. The bottom line is that power always kills, psychologically and physically.
Since the Suharto dictatorship annexed the region in a 1969 UN referendum largely seen as a fixed land grab, an estimated 500,000 West Papuans have been killed in their fight for self-rule… And children still in primary school have been jailed for taking part in demonstrations calling for independence from Indonesia.
A scenario that has been playing since the “dawn of times”… and if we look closely at the picture, it is all about property rights and money is the tool to enforce them… so what does it say since it is obvious that the premise is what causes the problem. And what for in the end since human life is limited in time?
Power is a lie to start with but will only succeed in fooling the crowds if clinging on materialism (rights to ownership) is taught from an early age. Preferably before age 7 because within that time frame, the mind will record anything as if into hypnosis.
Ownership rights do not and cannot exist as we are not eternal. Nothing is in the Universe but Consciousness. This reality must become the axiom of our next civilization — Consciousness is the foundation of “real life” and by that is meant a premise recognizing the Body, the Mind and the Spirit as ONE.
Today, indigenous tribes such as the Kamoro and the Amungme claim their communities have been racked with poverty, disease, oppression and environmental degradation since the mine began operations in 1973. “We are a coastal people, and we depend on the environment,” says the Kamoro’s chief, Hironimus Urmani, in Tipuka, a lowland village down-river from the Grasberg mine. “Nature is a blessing from God, and we are known by the three Ss: sago [trees], sampan [canoes] and sungai [rivers]. But life is very difficult now.”
That is always as how it plays out: greed distorts and hijacks pour rapport with Nature. The “dystopian endless growth paradigm” is going to end with a bang but will open the door to a premise endorsing that Earth is the only wealth we truly have while journeying through life.
All the money that exists cannot buy Earth, and the evidence is that we destroy our habitat as a result, thinking that we can just seize and pillage as we see fit. We can blame corporations as much as we want, but if crowds endorse the pursuit of wealth at their own level, they cannot prevent multinationals from doing exactly the same.
Estimates from Earthworks suggest that Freeport dumps as much as 200,000 tonnes of mine waste, known as tailings, directly into the Aikwa delta system every day…. The tailings from the Grasberg mine are so rich with ore that Papuans walk for as long as a week to get here. Crowding the length of the river and the delta wasteland, thousands of unlicensed panners shore up small sections to slow the river’s flow and dig into the thick sediment on the side….
Not only greed commoditizes all life but then forces people to exploit it for the sake of survival. The evidence that monetarism seriously restricts our abilities and thinking. We all do this at our level, some more than others, because if we do not participate in this greedy scheme, we cannot find a job nor free-lancing. And this is what must come to an end. It is a difficult choice, but by accepting those facts we will win everything.
Back in the area surrounding the Grasberg mine, many Papuans, struggling for work, find themselves pulled into the bar and sex industries that cater to the miners, particularly around the highland village of Banti. Here brothels and bars line up side by side, allegedly with help from the Indonesian military, who are said to supply sex workers and alcohol, according to a Freeport source who wished to remain anonymous.
Objectively speaking, this is what we have in the West and the rest of the world: porn and alcohol are everywhere, loneliness and suicides are the new epidemic, but for bigpharma it’s a bounty, an opportunity for innovation and to begin selling ketamine legally as antidepressant. We have a video presentation elaborating on the pharmaceutical future of ketamine on our YT channel (link at the bottom page)
All forms of money, mediums of exchange, have a negative impact on society because money is power, and power is anti-human natural birthrights.
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Cyanidation was the breakthrough gold mining technology of the 1890s, when it enabled Anglo mining conglomerates to make colossal profits from low grade ores. Simply put: cyanidation involves mixing finely crushed ores (referred to as “sands” or, when water-based, “slimes”) in a weak cyanide solution (usually calcium cyanide). This solution is then mixed in large tanks and the gold separated from its ore body. The process increases yields of gold but produces immense quantities of highly-toxic waste that releases acid and metals into the environment. Around 90% of all gold extracted worldwide uses this method.
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