Radiotracer 210Pb and contaminant copper were used to estimate sediment accumulation rates in 4 cores from the Ajkwa River estuary and mangrove tidal channels in western Irian Jaya. Mass accumulation rates (4.5-13 kg dry wt m -2 yr -1) were within the envelope of expectations for a region of high rainfall, great river catchment relief, and rapid tectonic uplift of mountains. Copper accumulation rates were enhanced 40 fold in surface sediments, compared to pre-1950 sections of the sediment cores. These recent sediments with enhanced copper concentrations come from Freeport Indonesia mine tailings over the last 27 years. Variations in sediment core profiles of Al, Fe, and organic carbon were small, indicating no great change in bulk sediment composition. Sulfur concentrations decline toward the sediment surface, suggesting a decline in rates of microbial sulfate reduction. Enhanced sediment copper concentrations will be a useful tracer of sediment dispersal from the Ajkwa River estuary along this coast.