Abundant Natural Resources in West Papua and Papua New Guinea

Natural Resources in West Papua
Sumber : Cnn Indonesia

West Papua and Papua New Guinea share similar names and are laid next to each other but, they are two different territories. West Papua belongs to the Republic of Indonesia, while Papua New Guinea is an independent country and part of the British Commonwealth. But since West Papua and Papua New Guinea are directly adjacent, the two own similar things: their natural resources. The two consist of highlands, tropical forest, and steep valleys. 

Natural Resources in West Papua
Sumber : Indonesia

Here, we will talk about abundant natural resources in West Papua and Papua New Guinea.

 

Coal

Papua and West Papua province

Cendrawasih Island is very potential in coal. There are some areas in which coal can be richly found, but many have not been explored. In 2020, the government permitted 25 corporations to explore coal in West Papua province, and four out of 25 have actively negotiated with the local landlord. 

Both the Indonesian government and locals are aware of the rich potency of coal in some of the West Papua areas. With the rapid development in this Island, mining coal is walking to a better path. 

Papua New Guinea

In 2015, the Papua New Guinea government allocated 10 million kinas or $3 million for coal potentiality production research. And it didn’t stop there as Australia also proposed establishing three mixed coal power generation plants in the capital city, Port Moresby, and Lae and Madang.

 

Gold

Papua and West Papua province

The most well-known gold mining in Papua is the one in Mimika district, also popular as Freeport. This gold mining is named Grasberg mining and the largest gold mining in the world. 

Currently, this mining is owned and operated by PT Freeport Indonesia with 48,74% shares Freeport-McMoRan, which is based in the United States, and 52,23% shares belonging to the Indonesian government. In 2006, Grasberg mining produced 58,474,392 grams of gold.

Besides being found in Mimika, gold is also found in other Papua and West Papua areas, namely Sugapa district, Agisipa, Homeyo, Bogobaida, Aradide, and West Paniai.

Papua New Guinea

Papua’s neighbor country also has gold mining called Porgera mining. Porgera mining locates in the areas of the northern mountains of Enga province. This mining is owned by Porgera Joint Venture, the partnership between Barrick Gold and China’s Zijin Mining Group. Barrick Gold themselves are headquartered in Canada.

In 2019, this mining produced 284,000 ounces of gold and was believed to have a deposit of 3.6 million ounces.

 

Copper

Papua and West Papua province

Another abundant natural resource in West Papua and Papua New Guinea is copper. Indonesia has many places with copper potential. The areas include Papua, West Nusa Tenggara, Central Kalimantan, East Java, and Aceh. However, Indonesia only has two copper smelters, PT Freeport Indonesia and Mitsubishi, and PT Batutua Tembaga Raya.

PT Freeport Indonesia, located in Tembagapura district, Mimika, Papua, owns Ertsberg mining and Grasberg mining. Ertsberg mining has become the third-largest copper reserve globally, while Grasberg mining places the largest gold reserve globally.

Papua New Guinea

The biggest copper mining in Papua New Guinea is Panguna mining, located in Bougainville Island. Panguna mining is one of the mining with the biggest copper reserves. The estimated amount is one billion tons of copper ore.

Panguna mining was found in 1969 and has since offered copper reserve. This mining has produced 45% of Papua New Guinea’s export income, which surely contributes to the country’s economy. 

Those are abundant natural resources in West Papua and Papua New Guinea. Besides coal, gold, and copper, Papua and Papua New Guinea also serve other mineral deposits such as natural gas, crude oil, nickel, iron sand, and many more.

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