From: Associated Press
Published September 24, 2004 12:00 AM

Indonesian Police Detain American Mine Employee Over Pollution

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian police arrested an American executive of a U.S.-based mining company and three local staff over the alleged contamination of a bay in eastern Indonesia, a company spokesman said.


Bill Long, site manager for Newmont Minahasa Raya, the local subsidiary of Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp., and the Indonesian employees were detained late Wednesday, said Newmont spokesman Kasan Mulyono in Jakarta.


Mulyono said the arrest letter stated the men could be held for questioning for 20 days.


They will be questioned about claims that the company's gold mine on Sulawesi Island polluted a nearby bay, killing and sickening an unspecified number of villagers, he said.


The company's American president director was due to be questioned on Tuesday. Police were not available for comment on the arrests.


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The company has denied the allegations, but has said it will cooperate with the police.


The company is already facing a $555 million suit filed by villagers close to the mine who claim to have been sickened by pollution from it.


Operations at the mine, about 1,300 miles northeast of Jakarta, ceased in August because its gold deposits are depleted.


Associated Press


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