Indonesia’s largest mining firm may drop coal for gas

Pushed by its American shareholders, banks and mounting climate change pressures, Indonesia’s largest mining company is actively studying a plan to switch from coal to natural gas to power its massive Grasberg underground copper and gold mine in Papua’s Central Highlands.

Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) has the option of either piping the gas from BP’s Tangguh liquified natural gas (LNG) plant, 490 kilometers to the northwest, or establishing a regasification plant to handle LNG shipments at its Timika port on the south coast.

“We’re still looking at which one is best,” PTFI president-director Tony Wenas told Asia Times this week. “But I’m sure we are not going to use coal anymore (in the future).”

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