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Article in series on gold mining around the world, The Cost of Gold, examines how American-owned company has been allowed to dump billion tons of mine waste directly into jungle river in easternmost province of Indonesia; Freeport-McMoRan's intricate web of political and military ties has shielded it...

Article in series on gold mining around the world, The Cost of Gold, examines how American-owned company has been allowed to dump billion tons of mine waste directly into jungle river in easternmost province of Indonesia; Freeport-McMoRan's intricate web of political and military ties has shielded it from rising pressures that other gold miners have faced to clean up their practices; it has managed to maintain nearly impenetrable redoubt as it taps one of Indonesia's richest assets; company records show that from 1998 through 2004, Freeport gave Indonesian military and police generals, colonels, majors and captains, and military units, nearly $20 million; company is among biggest sources of revenue for government; its importance to Indonesia's treasury and its carefully cultivated cocoon of support have helped secure it against challenges from local people, environmental groups, even Indonesia's own Environment Ministry, which repeatedly warned company that it was breaching environmental laws; about 90 square miles of wetlands are virtually buried in Fremont's mine waste, nearby pristine rain forest that has been granted special status by United Nations; photos; map (L)

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They have some very, very good investigative reporters working on international issues. For example this piece is amazing: