Freeport yet to extend operating permit: Ministry
The Jakarta Post
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has said that gold and copper mining operator PT Freeport Indonesia had yet to obtain an extension to their operating permit.
Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry secretary general Teguh Pamudji said on Wednesday that the extension of Freeport's operating permit, which would expire in 2021, was still being negotiated by government officials and company representatives.
"The validity and legal basis of (Freeport's) mining operation after 2021 will be the IUPK, which [Freeport] has not agreed to until now," Teguh said in Jakarta as quoted by tribunnews.com on Thursday.Read also: Freeport to issue new shares to meet divestment requirement
The IUPK, or the special mining permit, is set to replace the contract of work (CoW) scheme signed in 1991 by PT Freeport, a subsidiary of the American mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc.
The extension would be granted if Freeport agreed to convert its contract from a CoW into the IUPK, said Teguh, adding that the company could apply to extend its operating permit until 2041, or by two decades.
"Under Government Regulation No. 1/2017, IUPK holders are eligible for a permit extension of 2 x 10 years,” he said.
Freeport Indonesia's corporate communications vice president Riza Pratama said an extension through 2041 would bee needed for the company to meet the requirements of the government regulation.
An IUPK requires the permit holder to construct a smelter, as well as to divest 51 percent of its shares to Indonesian entities. (bbn)