The Jakarta Post
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has extended the export recommendation for gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia amid sluggish progress in the negotiation of the divestment of 51 percent of the company’s shares to Indonesian entities.
Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry business supervisory director Bambang Susigit said in Jakarta over the weekend that the export recommendation was issued on Feb. 16 and would take effect from Feb. 17, 2018 to Feb. 17, 2019.
“Freeport demanded an export quota of 1.66 million tons [of copper concentrates], but we only allowed 1.2 million tons in line with the budget and cost plan,” Bambang said as reported by kompas.com.
He said one of the reasons for deciding to issue the export recommendation was that progress of the smelter construction had reached 2.4 percent.
“Freeport has implemented its early plan, starting with an administrative requirement to conduct soil tests to assess the land’s stability,” he added.
Meanwhile, Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said the company had failed to fulfil the export target of 1.1 million tons last year because of various internal problems, particularly related to workers’ issues. “Last year, there was large absenteeism among workers,” Riza added.
Mineral resources expert from Tarumanegara University Ahmad Redi said the extension of the export recommendation indicated that the government was powerless in its dealings with Freeport.
Ahmad said Freeport did not have good will to complete the negotiations on the divestment of its shares. “But the government even gave the company the privilege of issuing a recommendation for exports of over million tons,” he added. (bbn)