Mimika - Where All the Glitters Are Gold

Mimika - The Field of Golds

On the central part of Papua Island, there lies a region that dwells an abundance of highly valued resources in the world. This region is named Mimika Regency. There are two ethnic groups originating from here: Amungme Tribe, which lives in the mountain area, and Kamoro Tribe in the shore area. The northern part of Mimika Regency borders Paniai and Puncak Jaya, while the southern part with the Arafura Sea, east with Merauke Regency and the west with Fak-Fak Regency.


The Well of Gold

As one of the home cluster regencies for National Sport Week (PON) XX 2021 in Indonesia, Mimika Regency in Papua Province is also widely known for having one of the largest gold mines in the world, which is located in Tembagapura District.


There have been two gold mines in Tembagapura, namely Ertsberg Mine (active until the early 90s) and Grasberg Mine (currently active since 1988), which are located in Mount Zaagkam. Both of those mines are considered as the third largest copper and gold reserves in the whole world and are managed by Freeport Indonesia, LLC.

In the Amungkal language, Ertsberg is called Yelstegel-Ongopsegel (sometimes spelled Jeltsengel-Ongoptengel), and Grasberg is named Wangmabuk. The northern part borders Puncak Jaya, which in the Amungkal language is named Nemangkawi. This mountain, which in the English language is known as Carstensz Pyramid, is considered as the highest peak in the Oceania area.


According to the belief of the Amungme community, the mountains of Nemangkawi, Yelstegel-Ongopsegel, and Wangmabuk are the sacred resting places for ancestral spirits.


What to Do

Aside from gold mines, Mimika also has some tourist attractions that are worth visiting. Near the harbor in the area of Pomako, there is a mangrove forest that is designated as Featured Ecotourism Destinations by the Mimika Tourism Office. Travelers can take a 2 hour car drive from the center of Mimika City to this mangrove forest.

For those who love challenges, a hike up to the Carstensz Pyramid would be something worth trying. There are many options of tour operators that can guide and organize the adventure for you. Kindly note that the journey into the mountain entails a great deal of uncertainty due to the fickle equatorial weather amplified by high altitudes. Therefore, make sure you have the required amount of strength and flexibility before deciding to begin the journey.


How to Visit

There are several airlines serving flights to Mozes Kilangin International Airport in Mimika from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang directly or by transit.

This article is expected to give you a light of hope for tourism in the near future. As always, Indonesia is preparing extensively for tourism recovery and will be ready to welcome you here soon.

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