Saturday, 23rd September 2017

Freeport crisis serves a big blow to hotel industry in Timika

20th March 2017 | 3.475 Views
Timika (ANTARA News) - Hotel industry in Timika, Papua has suffered badly with sharp drop in occupancy rate as a result of the Freeport crisis.

Manager of Hotel Noken Timika Wisnu Aji said here on Monday occupancy rates of hotels in Timika had dropped to an average of 30 percent from normally 60-70 percent.

Some of the hotel are almost certain to stop operation if the government and Freeport could not reach an agreement, Wisnu said.

The occupancy rate began to fall in mid February when the company began to slow down production and finally stopped.

Wisnu said many of the hotel guests had been the workers of Freeport Indonesia, and its sub-contractors.

On Saturday, the Immigration Office in Tembagapura, Timika, said at least 115 expatriate workers had left PT Freeport Indonesia and its sub-contractors after the U.S mining company stopped operation.

The subsidiary of the U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRun Copper & Gold employs 32,000 people in Indonesia, about 12,000 of whom are full-time employees.

An official of the Tembagapura Immigration Office Dede Sulaiman said , most of the 115 expatriates are from Australia and the United States.

The 115 expatriates left Timika with members of their families. They worked for PT Freeport Indonesia, PT Redpath, PT RUC and PT JDA, Dede said .

Until now there are still more than 700 expatriates working in Mimika mainly for the sub-contractors of PT Freeport.

Freeport Indonesia, which has large copper and gold mines in Papua has stopped operation after it was banned from exporting its copper concentrate .

The government has issued a regulation banning exports of unprocessed minerals in a bid to boost development of processing industry in the country.

Freeport abruptly stopped production on February 10, 2017 and started to dismiss thousands of workers and already laid off many of its foreign workers, who were among the regular guests of hotels in Timika.(*)