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Jakarta Post

Freeport gets 1-month permit as divestment expected to end soon

  • Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 4, 2018   /   12:31 pm
Freeport gets 1-month permit as divestment expected to end soon A vehicle drives through an open pit mine at gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia’s open pit facility in Grasberg, Tembagapura, Mimika, Papua. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

The government approved on Wednesday a one-month special mining permit (IUPK) for PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), the local affiliate of American mining giant Freeport-McMoran, that expires on July 31,  as the government aimed to complete the divestment of  51 percent of PTFI shares in mid-July.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s mineral and coal director general ,Bambang Gatot Ariyono, said in a press briefing on Wednesday that the extension had considered four issues: contract extension, divestment, smelter construction and fiscal and legal certainty for Freeport's planned long-term investment.

"Those issues are close to being settled, but the environmental issues still need to be settled between PTFI and the Environment and Forestry Ministry," he said.

Bambang added that July 31 was also the deadline for the four issues to be settled. 

"Currently, there is a team consisting of the ministry and Freeport settling the environmental issues," he said.

The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) recently discovered ecological damage blamed on  PTFI mining operations in Papua that had caused Rp 185 trillion (US$12.95 billion) in state losses.

Previously, PTFI spokesperson Riza Pratama said the company had proposed a six-month permit to Jan. 4, 2019. PTFI received its first temporary IUPK in February 2017. The government extended its IUPK for the second time until December 2017. (bbn)