Jakarta (ANTARA News) - US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc. paid the Indonesian government 1.6 billion dollars last year from its vast mining operation in Papua province, mostly in taxes, the company said Monday.
"From January to December 2006, Freeport Indonesia paid its financial obligations to the government of Indonesia in the sum of 1.6 billion dollars," a statement was quoted by AFP as saying.
It said 1.29 billion dollars of the total comprised corporate, employee income and other taxes. Dividends accounted for 159 million dollars and royalties for 146 million dollars.
Freeport Indonesia has paid 5.1 billion dollars to the Indonesian government since 1992, according to the statement. Taxes accounted for 4.1 billion dollars of the figure, with the remainder comprised of royalties and dividends.
The company said Freeport Indonesia had also invested five billion dollars to develop company infrastructure and 500 million dollars in social facilities.
It had also generated direct employment for 9,000 people in 2006, some 27 percent of whom were indigenous Papuans, the statement said.
It added the company had provided 10,700 jobs indirectly last year, for example for contract workers or employees at partner firms.
The statement said the firm had also purchased domestic goods and services worth 4.3 billion dollars.
Freeport Indonesia, the local subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan, operates a huge and controversial gold and copper mine in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua.
Campaigners have accused the mine of causing environmental damage in Papua.
They say it has polluted the World Heritage-listed Lorenz National Park and dumped copper-rich ore around the edge of its operations.
The firm has disputed the claims. (*)