Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015 | 02:50:09 AM

Environmental reasons have weighed heavily in the decision of the usbased Overseas Private Investment Corporation (opic) to terminate us $100 million worth of political risk insurance on one of world's biggest copper-gold mining projects on the Indonesian island of Irian Jaya.

Freeport is the company which faces the threat of a withdrawal of insurance cover. They have been informed by opic that this drastic step has been taken because production at the mine had doubled from the agreed level. This change had resulted "in the massive deposition of tailings (waste) in the Ajkwa river and the sheet flow of tailings that has degraded a large area of Iowland rainforest between the Ajkwa and Mmajeri rivers. These and other effects of the project have posed an unreasonable or major environmental health and safety hazard in Irian Jaya." Freeport has - predictably - denied all charges.

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