The Jakarta Post
State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno has said the government is aiming at concluding its negotiations with Rio Tinto on the purchase of the latter’s interests in Papua’s Grasberg mine -- the world’s largest gold and second-largest copper mine.
She, however, was reluctant to talk about the negotiation involving state-owned mining company PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum), as a representative of the government and Freeport McMoran, the parent company of PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), and Rio Tinto.
“If we have signed the agreement, we will reveal it. God willing, the negotiation will be concluded in June,” said Rini in Jakarta on Thursday as reported by tribunnews.com.
Previously, London-based Rio Tinto confirmed it was discussing the sale with Inalum and Freeport McMoran. Rio Tinto said it noted reports of the potential purchase by Inalum of Rio Tinto's entire interest in the Grasberg mine for US$3.5 billion.
Rini also declined to comment about the price of Rio Tinto’s participating interests in mining, saying that it was under negotiation.
“No, we cannot reveal it. […] We are in the process of [document] finalization before we sign the agreement,” she stressed.
The government has appointed Inalum to buy PTFI’s shares, in line with a law that requires foreign mining companies to divest 51 percent of their shares to Indonesian entities.
Freeport McMoran and Rio Tinto established an unincorporated joint venture in 1995, which gave the latter control of 40 percent up to 2022 in certain assets and future production above specific levels in one of the blocks at Grasberg. (bbn)