Papua (ANTARA) - Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Arifin Tasrif has urged the gold copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia to recruit more local workers from Papua as part of human capital empowerment in the province.

"I'd be delighted if more workers are recruited from Papua. Therefore, Freeport Indonesia has a responsibility to improve the quality of human capital in the province," Tasrif said in Papua on Sunday.

According to the minister, Freeport Indonesia, a local unit of the US miner Freeport-McMoRan, must support the mining polytechnic program in the province's universities.

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"We already have a (mining) polytechnic program. It will provide a good quality manpower for Freeport Indonesia. However, we must provide all necessary assistance. It has been a commitment of the Indonesian government as mandated by the Constitution," Tasrif expounded.

According to Freeport Indonesia's latest data, of the total 6,943 employees, 6,791 of them are Indonesian nationals, while 152 others are foreign experts.

In addition to the employment-related issues, the minister also mentioned the updates of the underground mining site construction to replace three previous sites, including Grasberg open pit, DMLZ, and Grasberg Block Cave for 2020 to 2023.

The underground mining site has yet to be operated due to some technical issues. "I am confident that with its recognized reputation, Freeport Indonesia will soon solve the problems," the minister said.

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Translator: Afut Syafril N/Genta Tenri Maw
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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