Freeport given lifeline until June 2018
Viriya P. Singgih
The Jakarta Post
The government has once again extended the temporary permit of miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) until June 30, indicating that both parties were unable to settle their dispute before the Jan. 10 deadline.
The current administration has been involved in intense negotiations with PTFI, a subsidiary of American mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, since early 2017 over the latter’s future operations in the country.
While both parties have been negotiating the detailed arrangements, the government had allowed the gold and copper miner to resume exporting copper concentrate by issuing a temporary special mining permit (IUPK) backdated to Feb. 10, 2017 and valid for eight months until Oct. 10, 2017.
As they could not reach a settlement by October last year, it was decided to extend the permit until Jan. 10, before giving the latest extension.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Tuesday that the new deadline would provide certainty for PTFI’s operations while talks were ongoing.
“The extension of the IUPK until June 2018 is part of our efforts to finalize four key points in our negotiations [with PTFI],” Sri Mulyani Indrawati said, referring to contract extension, divestment, smelter construction and fiscal and legal certainty for Freeport's planned long-term investment.
“[The negotiation is] still ongoing, but it is almost done,” she said, adding that the government expected to issue a permanent permit before the designated timeframe.
Without such an extension, PTFI, which has been granted an export permit effective until February, would not have been able to export after the Jan. 10 deadline. (lnd)
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