We implement Environmental and Social Impact Assessments prior to undertaking greenfield or brownfield expansion projects. These assessments identify potentially affected stakeholders and their representatives, as well as potential impacts from the outset, and provide a framework for developing both stakeholder engagement and mitigation plans. Many of our operations use baseline assessment tools to help identify community needs and provide a baseline against which we can measure our performance over time. Our active mining sites have mine closure plans that specify measures for managing environmental impacts at the end of mine life, while our ongoing community investment programs aim to build community resilience and individual capacity for sustainability post-closure.
We are committed to respecting the human rights of community members and, when unavoidable, conducting community resettlement activities in alignment with international best practice. This commitment is reflected in our Community and Human Rights Policies. We did not have any resettlement activities in 2019.
PT-FI completed its Environmental Impact Assessment (AMDAL) in 1997 in compliance with Government of Indonesian regulations and the company’s policies and practices on management of the environmental and social impacts of our operations. The AMDAL, approved by the Government of Indonesia, describes PT-FI’s management plans for environmental and social impacts. PT-FI’s Environmental and Community Affairs departments jointly compile data and program results and submit biannual Environmental Planning and Monitoring Reports to the Government of Indonesia.
Sedimentation Impact Mitigation
In 2019, PT-FI continued its collaboration with indigenous Kamoro communities located along the coastal areas of eastern Mimika, in particular Fanamo, Omawita and Otakwa. Some of the traditional waterways used by the Kamoro to access their traditional sources of livelihood have been impacted by the levee extension construction necessary to maintain the safety of our controlled riverine tailings system. PT-FI continued work with these communities on its impact mitigation strategy, which includes regular passenger boats and bus services to improve access between coastal villages and Timika to support the development of economic livelihoods, health and education.
Acknowledging that sedimentation impact mitigation is a cross-departmental responsibility, PT-FI’s Sedimentation Task Force continues its mitigation measures with key local government, religious institutions and local community stakeholders. This multi-stakeholder approach in mitigating sedimentation impacts resulted in development of both a water transportation program and economic development activities aligned with Kamoro culture and livelihoods. The water transportation program includes an integrated passenger boat and bus service with optimal routes and schedules determined through consultation with local community members and the local Mimika government. During Phase One of the program (2013 – 2018), PT-FI regularly engaged with the affected local communities in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating our social mitigation programs addressing the impact of tailings and sedimentation.
Phase Two of the program began in 2019, with continued enhancements to the local transportation system and an added focus on local economic development – vegetable and coconut farming, and fisheries. Program interventions during 2019 included:
- Providing roundtrip boat service between Pomako and the PT-FI-constructed Omauga dock for the people from Manasari and Otakwa, including 48 return boat trips carrying approximately 750 passengers;
- Constructing a community boat mooring area and bus shelter on the east levee that provides alternative transportation access for communities from the east to Timika;
- Providing transportation for the five directly-impacted Kamoro villages to access their gardens and fishing grounds as well as markets in Timika, including a monthly average of 390 bus trips and 50 truck trips during the year;Securing access to fuel at a competitive price in cooperation with the Catholic Diocese of Timika;
- Providing coconut program assistance covering 200 hectares and 368 farmer groups, including distribution of approximately 26,100 coconut seedlings; and
- Ongoing vegetable program assistance including seeds and fertilizer as well as help with marketing, was provided to 177 households, who collectively generated revenue in excess of $178,000
PT-FI, together with the local government and affected local communities, implements regular monitoring and evaluation to assess the effectiveness of its mitigation programs on impacted communities. Program enhancements resulting from this process have ranged from modifying the type and size of passenger vessels, to improved transportation service routes and schedules with more strategic docking locations.
In collaboration with the local government, PT-FI is supporting the establishment of an economic and transportation hub in Otakwa village located to the east of Timika. The hub will support the establishment of an Integrated Center for Marine and Fishery Activities as well as an increase in coastal transportation access for Kamoro communities located east of the current network. This hub also will facilitate access of these coastal communities to the east to economic and social infrastructure.
Please refer to the Community Engagement and Social Investments sections for additional information on Community and Economic Development programs in Indonesia.
Community Grievance Mechanisms
To support constructive engagement and resolution of issues that may arise, we maintain site-level grievance mechanisms where community members can share their questions, concerns and/or complaints, outside of any other engagement forum. The community grievance mechanisms are part of our commitment to provide access to remedy. They also serve as an early warning system and help to manage and reduce potential risks by identifying and addressing problems before potential escalation into larger conflicts.
Our community grievance mechanisms are available in local languages, tailored to local cultures and allow us to document issues and concerns raised by local community members and responding a timely manner. Grievances are typically received by community engagement team members in the field, through engagement at established company/community forums, in writing via physical drop boxes or via local telephone hotlines. Regardless of how they are received, they are reported to the site Community Grievance Officer, who relays the grievance to the relevant department for evaluation. Community engagement team members help investigate grievances and work with community members to acknowledge the grievance, address concerns, solve problems and mitigate or remedy impacts, For grievances with potentially high community impacts, senior management and applicable government authorities are engaged, as appropriate.
During 2019, our global operations recorded 170 community grievances in our web based management system predominantly regarding community benefits, environmental concerns, health and safety and land rights. This system allows us to track grievances, identify thematic trends, report resolutions and measure our performance.
The ICMM’s update good practice guidance on Handling and Resolving Local-level Concerns and Grievances, together with input from community members and their representatives, are informing updates to our community mechanisms anticipated for rollout in 2021. This guidance strengthens the effectiveness criteria outlined in the UNGPs.
Sierrita successfully resolved 725 grievances received in late 2018 and early 2019 associated with the six-hour, 500-year storm event that damaged the Sierrita Tailings Impoundment (STI) surface crust layer in late 2018. High winds during subsequent storms blew dust towards the adjacent Green Valley and Sahuarita communities resulting in dust-related impacts. Remedies were agreed with residents based on household-specific impacts and included organizing or reimbursing professional cleaning services for homes, cars and HVAC systems, as well as providing a Human Health Impact Assessment report on the non-toxic nature of the tailings material to circumvent misperceptions or concerns. To mitigate the risk of recurring impacts, Sierrita conducted a benchmark evaluation to inform updates to its Tailings Management and Stewardship Program (TMSP), including how to better anticipate and prepare for storm events to reduce dust emissions. Sierrita continues its engagement with neighboring communities, providing through regular communications, hosting and attending community meetings, conducting site tours, and having frequent discussions with government and regulatory stakeholders regarding the TMSP. Grievance resolution was ongoing for two cases as of the end of 2019.
The Coronado Trail Scenic Byway (Highway 191) winds through Morenci in Greenlee County, Arizona, drawing tourists and providing critical access for ranchers in remote Upper Eagle Creek. On February 28, 2019, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) closed the Coronado Bridge located between Morenci to Alpine on Highway 191 without advance notice due to unexpected deterioration to the abutment. Vehicles were redirected through New Mexico – a 100 mile re-route. This impacted both tourism and ranchers’ ability to secure supplies for their animals and fuel for the generators used to heat their homes. When ranchers raised concerns regarding the timeline for the bridge repairs, Freeport-McMoRan and Greenlee County enacted their Emergency Management Mutual Aid Agreement plan to open a transportation route through Morenci’s operational areas for critical supplies and emergencies during the bridge closure. Morenci also provided hay to Greenlee County, which was delivered to the ranchers along with fuel, mail, prescriptions, and other critical supplies for Upper Eagle Creek residents. At the same time, Morenci collaborated with ADOT to expedite repair works by reassigning mining equipment to shore up the bridges’ existing abutment. These reinforcements allowed the bridge to be re-opened while ADOT completed additional repairs. Adjustments to mining operations enabled ranchers to transport their livestock to market on time, tourists to visit Greenlee County, and minimized quality of life impacts for residents of Upper Eagle Creek. The Coronado Bridge reopened on March 25, 38 days ahead of schedule.
A major flood event that struck El Abra operations in early 2019 caused extensive damage throughout the Alto El Loa region of the Atacama Desert, including the Indigenous community of Conchi Viejo. Already vulnerable, indigenous communities were particularly impacted as the heavy rainfall washed out local roads and destroyed homes and infrastructure. Working with the affected communities, an emergency response plan was quickly developed, supporting immediate actions to address basic needs including transport, shelter and access to food and water. While restoring its operational infrastructure, El Abra prioritized community support by assisting with clearing and repairing roads, as well as providing construction materials for damaged homes. After the immediate response to the flood event, El Abra developed a reconstruction plan – a formal commitment supporting tasks that included removing flood debris, filling sinkholes, repairing homes, rehabilitating irrigation channels, and enhancing drinking water systems. The Conchi Viejo community celebrated the first phase of the town's reconstruction in October 2019 with remaining phases scheduled to be completed in 2020.
PT-FI received and responded to two grievances from Kamoro community members regarding the impact of sedimentation on local transportation routes and certain economic activities in 2019. Acknowledging that sedimentation impact mitigation is a cross-departmental responsibility, PTFI’s sedimentation task force continues its mitigation measures through strengthening existing partnerships with key local government, religious institution and local community stakeholders on establishing an economic and transportation hub in Otakwa village to the east of Timika. The hub will support establishing an Integrated Center for Marine and Fishery Activities and an increase in coastal transportation access for Kamoro communities located east of the current network. This hub, when fully operational, will also facilitate access of these coastal communities to the east to economic and social infrastructure.
In 2019, PT-FI also recorded 15 formal land rights grievances from members of the indigenous Papuan communities, including claims over land use and compensation requested for past land use agreements. PT-FI received and processed these community grievances through its community grievance mechanism. This included working with local authorities to investigate the claims or grievances with the goal to reach a mutually acceptable agreement within existing legal frameworks of the host government. A 2014 land rights mapping study conducted by Cenderawasih University continues to assist the Amungme traditional council (Lemasa) and PT-FI in mediating conflicts over land rights claims in highland areas. Please refer to Land Use & Customary Rights section for more information.
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