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Jakarta Post

Papua asks for 10 percent in Freeport divestment

  • Fedina S. Sundaryani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 22, 2017   /   06:09 pm
Papua asks for 10 percent in Freeport divestment A vehicle passes through PT Freeport Indonesia’s mining area in Grasberg, Mimika, Papua. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

The Papua administration has requested a 10 percent share of divested shares of copper and gold miner PT Freeport Indonesia if the company abides by a requirement to sell 51 percent of its shares to national entities.

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe met President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Wednesday to discuss the standoff between Freeport Indonesia and the government and how it would affect the province.

A similar request has also been made by Mimika Regent Eltinus Omaleng.

"This is our country and we must maintain our sovereignty. This is why 51 percent of its shares must be divested to us and we [in Papua] want 10 percent of them," Lukas said.

(Read also: Local administrations in Papua to get Freeport shares)

"The President completely agreed with our stance on Freeport. Papua and Jakarta are fighting for the same thing."

Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US-based Freeport McMoRan, has refused to accept a government demand that it convert its contract of work (CoW) into a special mining license (IUPK). The company argues that an IUPK would effectively annul its CoW, signed in 1991.

Freeport says it does not want to give up the rights listed in its present CoW, including protection of its long-term investment. It has threatened to take the case to international arbitration if a mutual agreement is not met in the next few months.

Freeport is required to divest 51 percent of its shares to national entities and, as stipulated in a new regulation, develop smelters alone or with other companies. (bbn)