Children of the Gold Land

Hundreds indigenous Papuan families stay on the riverbanks in Timika, Papua, Indonesia, beside the tailing disposal stream of Freeport Indonesia, mining the biggest gold mine in the world.

Based on the reports of Earthworks and Mining Watch Canada, 2012, Freeport Indonesia, an affiliate an Freeport McMoRan’s, produces and dumps over 200,000 tons of tailings per day (over 80 million tons per year). The tailings contain high concentrations of toxins such as copper, arsenic, cadmium, and selenium. The tailings have buried over 166 square kilometers of formerly productive forest and wetlands. It is in this area that, the above indigenous Papuan families stay.

These families earn money by becoming informal miners in the tailing disposal areas. They stay in plastic camps without access to proper living amenities such as clean water and electricity. Their children grow up without formal education and, instead learn to earn money and get high in a cheap way.

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