The Potential of Mining Sector for West Papua Economy

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Predicted To Be One Of The Main Drivers Of The Economy, The Mining Sector In West Papua Holds A Lot Of Potential And Is Set To Take Off Soon.

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Have you heard that some large companies such as McKinsey had predicted that Indonesia would become one of the largest in economies soon? It does not come as a surprise considering that Indonesia is the largest country in the ASEAN region and is the most populated. With Indonesia’s resources, many business opportunities are made possible, and these businesses contribute to the economy’s growth. Among all of these, the mining sector shows great potential, specifically in the West Papua region. 

Mining – The Gem of Indonesia

The mining sector is one of the most bustling sectors in Indonesia. Mining involves digging up metals and minerals from the ground for industrial. Because Indonesia is very rich in commodities, the mining sector thrives. Some of the most popular commodities in Indonesia include:






The mining sector also opens up opportunities for many parties. For example, the heavy machinery business that extracts the metals and minerals and transports them requires many machinery such as excavators, cranes, tractors, and many others. As the mining sector expands, it also opens more job opportunities such as contractors, technicians, mechanics, and operators who all help manage the daily operations in the fields.

Positive Impact on West Papua Economy

If we take a look at the economy of West Papua in 2021, we will see that its economic growth is significantly more than the other provinces in Indonesia. In Q3 of 2021, the economic growth in the West Papua province reached 14.54% YoY, significantly eclipsing the economic growth of the whole Indonesian region, which only achieved a mere 3.51%. The key contributor to the economy is the mining sector. The sector by its lonesome achieved a growth of 37.56% YoY in the same quarter.

It can be assumed that the sector is essential. Without the presence of the mining sector in the economy, the growth of the whole province would only be in the lower 2.42%. This significant difference shows how vital the mining sector is to the overall economy. 

The Effect of PT Freeport Indonesia×720.jpg

Despite all the commodities available on this wonderful island, the most abundant ones are gold and copper. One corporation stands above all in its contribution to the economy of West Papua, and that company is PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI). PTFI is the largest mining company in the province, and its responsibilities include mining and processing gold, copper, and silver ores which they ship out to different parts of the world.

The great performance of PTFI is largely due to their projects in the mines located in Mimika, spanning to Mount Grasberg. All these mines make West Papua one of the world’s largest gold and copper mining industries. In July-September of 2021, PTFI managed to book production of 968.000 ounces of gold (67.76% YoY growth) and 956 million tons of copper ores (76.05% YoY growth). 

Not only limited to simply mining commodities, but PTFI is also dedicated to creating a sustainable ecosystem. By providing helping programs, building infrastructures, and assisting people in helping start their businesses, PTFI hopes to increase the prosperity of the people and is open to collaborations in hopes of making a better West Papua


The growth of West Papua is certainly an amazing feat, and it is expected to continue its trajectory for the years to come. The strength of Indonesia has always been strong because of its vast resources of commodities which makes us a powerful country. Indonesia relies heavily on commodities as a source of revenue, making PT Freeport Indonesia’s business prospects very bright, like the gold they produce.  

The economy of Indonesia is still in the very early stages, but most countries predict that we will become much larger in the future. Our economy will exponentially grow as we learn to manage our resources better. Talking about commodities, we can learn how to process the commodities into a usable product instead of just exporting the raw materials because the products would have more value and can be sold at a premium price. It will improve our economy and bring us one step closer to becoming a developed country. It is certainly exciting to see what is in store for Indonesia in the years to come, and we can’t wait to see it.