A lucrative business
The Grasberg mine in Indonesia has long been a major gold mine. The mine is still billed as the world’s largest gold mine and the third largest copper mine. Currently, Grasberg is an open pit mine, but by the end of 2017 it will transition to a high-level underground block operation. In 2014, Glassberg produced 1.1 million ounces of gold. Glasberg is owned by Freeport McMoran, which owns 90.64% of the company and employs 19,500 people. The Indonesian government owns the remaining 9.36% of the mine. The Grasberg mine is located near Chaya Peak in New Guinea, Indonesia. Chaya peak is the highest mountain in Papua, so extracting it is a particularly arduous process. Dutch geologist Jan Jacques Doy discovered the mine in 1936, but it was not until 1960 that George Maylie and Forbes Wilson launched an expedition to prove its value. Grasberg was the first mine opened by the Suharto government after Indonesia gained independence in 1963.