The Freeport chief says the Grasberg mine was dubious, now the second largest in the world


PT Free port Indonesia (PTFI) is one of the largest mining companies in the world. The PTFI-operated Grasberg gold mine is also the second largest in the world.

Namun Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Free port-McMoran Richard C. Adkerson said the PTFI gold mine was in doubt. Even when it was first discovered, it was claimed that this gold mine in Papua could not be developed.

“When (the gold mine) was first discovered in 1936 by Dutch geologists who were on expedition to Puncak Jaya, what did they say? They said this mine had to be on the moon because no one could develop it,” he said, quoted by YouTube page of the Ministry of Investments. / BKPM, Tuesday (4/10/2022).


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For information, the Dutch referred to by Adkerson are Jean Jacques Dozy, AH Colijn and Franz Wissel. At the time they were competing with the Japanese to climb Carstensz Peak in West Papua.

Dozy works at NNGPM as the chief oil and earth geologist. Meanwhile, Colijn is the manager of a branch of Royal Dutch Shell. Back then, Wissel was a Dutch naval pilot.

All three reached the summit on December 5, 1936. At an altitude of 4,000 meters, the three – Dozi, Colijn and Wissel – reached the grasslands they had seen during their aerial survey.

“That’s where Dozy found a mountain spur called Erstberg,” Poulgrain wrote. At Poulgrain, Dozy said there was no other rock in Erstberg except ore.

Adkerson added that while there were doubts about it, Freeport did an expedition in the 1960s. Some time later they entered into a contract with President Suharto to continue developing operations.

“In 1988, when they first came here, they dug up and found Grasberg. Today, Grasberg is the second largest gold mine in the world,” he explained.

Adkerson said that from 1992 to 2021 Indonesia earned about $ 23.1 billion or Rs 353.43 trillion from PTFI operations. This profit comes from taxes, royalties, dividends, commissions and other payments.

For investments up to 2041, Indonesia’s estimated profit will reach $ 80 billion or Rp 1,224 trillion. With a note that the price of copper is in the range of $ 4 per pound and the price of gold is $ 1,800 per ounce.

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