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Freeport gets red-carpet treatment, again

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THE JAKARTA POST/JAKARTA - Copper and gold miner PT Freeport Indonesia is getting the red-carpet treatment once again, as the government is allowing the company to resume exports despite the companys mounting responsibilities.

The export activities are made possible with the issuance of a temporary special mining permit (IUPK) by the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry that is backdated to Feb. 10 and valid for eight months.

With the temporary IUPK in place, Freeport will be able to use the ministrys recommendation it obtained in February to export 1.11 million wet metric tons (wmt) of copper concentrate for a year.

The company, the operator of the worlds largest gold mine and second-largest copper mine, is now waiting for an export permit to be issued by the Trade Ministry.

Despite the short export period, Freeport is seen as having dodged the bullet again, because it was previously required to convert its contract of work (CoW) to a permanent IUPK, divest 51 percent of its shares and build a smelter within five years before being able to export, as stipulated by Government Regulation (PP) No. 1/2017.

Freeport - backed by its parent company, United States-based mining giant Freeport-McMoran Inc. - had consistently rejected the requirements and argued that they violated the investment certainty provided by the present CoW, dating back to 1991.

The disagreement had led to a standstill and Freeport warned that it could take the Indonesian government to international arbitration.

The miner had been unable to sell its copper concentrate overseas, creating a large pileup at its compound in Papua.

However, earlier this month. Freeport resumed production at 40 percent of its normal rate after securing an export permit for anode slime, a byproduct of copper processing.

The temporary IUPK decision came just before US Vice President Mike Pences visit to Indonesia this month. Freeport-McMoran is known to be politically connected, as US billionaire Carl Icann, special adviser on regulatory reform to US President Donald Trump, is a major shareholder in the company.

The government has defended its decision, even though there is no legal basis that backs the temporary IUPK issuance and no concrete agreement has been made regarding the divestment and smelter issues.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministrys secretary-general, Teguh Pamudji, said in a press conference on Tuesday that it was working to ensure a smooth transition from the CoW to the IUPK.

"In any public policy, including in regulations surrounding the energy and mineral resources sector, there will always be an opportunity for the government to guide [businesses]," he said, insisting that such guidance applied to all firms wanting to convert their CoWs to IUPKs.

The government claims that during the next six months, it will continue negotiating with the company over the terms for a full conversion of the miners CoW, including the issues of investment stability, divestment and smelter construction.

It will also conduct a semiyear-ly evaluation on Freeports smelter commitment. The firm previously promised to construct a smelter in Gresik, East Java.

Teguh said if the government and Freeport Indonesia failed to see eye-to-eye in the next six months, the miner would be allowed to return to its CoW, but would be barred from exporting its copper concentrates again.

The 2009 Mining Law stipulates that the holderof a CoW cannot export its production without processing it domestically first.

Freeport spokesman Riza Pratama said the firm would be willing to fully convert its CoW to an IUPK as long as the lartergrant-ed investment stability, which entails legal and fiscal cer-tainties that are equal to the ones outlined in the current CoW.

"We are in the process of obtaining an export permit," he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

BMI Research, a unit of Fitch Group, predicts in a recent report that Freeport will likely continue to negotiate with the government to maintain its operations in the country, as copper and gold prices are expected to rise to US$5,800 per ton and $1,525 per ounce, respectively, by 2021.

Fedina S. Sundaryani

 Source : The Jakarta Post, April 05, 2017

Terakhir Diperbaharui ( Selasa, 18 April 2017 07:58 )

Freeport Dapat IUPK Sementara 8 Bulan

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PEMERINTAH melalui Kementerian ESDM menyepakati penetapan izin usaha pertambangan khusus (IUPK) yang bersifat sementara hingga Oktober 2017 bagi PT Freeport Indonesia.

"Pada pembahasan jangka pendek minggu lalu, kami sepakat dengan Freeport bahwa akan ditetapkan IUPK yang bersifat sementara karena punya tenggat 8 bulan." kata Sekretaris Jenderal Kementerian ESDM Teguh Pamudji dalam jumpa pers di Jakarta, kemarin.

Menurut dia, pemerintah dan Freeport melakukan perundingan intensif sejak Februari lalu saat perusahaan tambang berbasis di Amerika Serikat itu menyatakan keberatan atas perubahan status kontrak tambang dari kontrak karya (KK) ke IUPK.

Teguh menjelaskan ada dua hal yang dilakukan pemerintah dalam upaya penyelesaian kisruh status kontrak Freeport, yakni jangka pendek dan jangka panjang.

Penyelesaian jangka pendek, lanjut dia, dilatarbelakangi upaya memberikan landasan hukum dan kepastian usaha bagi Freeport.

Di sisi lain, penyelesaian jangka pendek itu juga memberi kejelasan bagi pemerintah atas hubungan kontraktual pasca-penerbitan Peraturan Pemerintah (PP) No 1/2017 tentang Perubahan Keempat atas PP No 23/2010 tentang Pelaksanaan Kegiatan Usaha Pertambangan Mineral dan Batu Bara.

Dengan IUPK yang bersifat sementara selama 8 bulan. Freeport dapat melaksanakan ekspor konsentrat dengan membayar bea keluar selama periode 8 bulan tersebut.

"Berbarengan dengan dikeluarkannya IUPK itu, kami juga masih menghormati ketentuan-ketentuan dalam kontrak karya," jelasnya.

Teguh yang juga Ketua Tim Perundingan Pemerintah dan Freeport menuturkan bahwa mulai pekan depan akan ada perundingan kedua untuk penyelesaian jangka panjang selama 8 bulan mulai 10 Februari hingga 10 Oktober 2017.

Dalam jangka panjang, sejumlah poin akan dibahas, antara lain stabilitas investasi, keberlangsungan operasi, divestasi, serta pembangunan fasilitas pemurnian dan pengolahan mineral (smelter).


 Sumber : Media Indonesia, 05 April 2017

Terakhir Diperbaharui ( Selasa, 18 April 2017 07:55 )

Indonesia Allows Exports From Freeport Mine in Stop-Gap Deal

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Indonesia has issued a temporary mining license to Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s local unit that will allow the company to resume concentrate exports from the world’s second-largest copper mine after a gap of about 12 weeks.

The permit for Grasberg is valid for eight months from the time that the producer was first offered a special mining license or IUPK in February, Teguh Pamudji, secretary-general at Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, told reporters in Jakarta on Tuesday. The government will continue talks with Freeport on a long-term financial stability pact, he said.

A Phoenix-based Freeport spokesman, Eric Kinneberg, reiterated Tuesday that talks to resume exports are continuing. “We are progressing constructive discussions with the government that would enable PT-FI to resume concentrate exports while retaining our contract until a mutually satisfactory replacement agreement is completed,” he said in an email, referring to the Indonesian unit by its initials.

The mining company expects to resume exports soon and will continue discussions with the government on other issues, PT-FI spokesman Riza Pratama said in a text message before the announcement.

The producer will be able to switch back to its Contract of Work from the temporary mining license if a long-term deal is not reached by Oct. 10, but its right to export would be rescinded, Pamudji said.

“We have agreed with Freeport to sit down and discuss the short-term and long-term approach,” Pamudji said. “For the short-term, the continuity is important as Freeport Indonesia has a large impact on Papua, so last week we agreed to release a temporary license. With that, Freeport can export concentrates and pay duties. There’s also an agreement to start talks next week on the long-term approach.”

Supply Disruptions

The two sides have been entangled in a dispute over the company’s contract, including a requirement to divest a majority stake to domestic shareholders and the ability to export. While prices were buoyed this year by the halt in shipments and a strike at the world’s biggest mine at Escondida in Chile, they’ve dropped more than 7 percent from February highs as disruptions eased.

Freeport can restart exports based on a recommendation in February which allowed the company to ship 1.1 million metric tons of concentrates over a period of 12 months, Bambang Gatot Ariyono, director-general of coal and minerals at Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, told reporters in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The interim deal could allow Freeport to restore operations at the Grasberg mine in Papua to full capacity. The world’s largest publicly traded copper producer has vowed to hold out for investment safeguards before agreeing to a conversion of its Contract of Work into a long-term IUPK. The miner currently operates the mine at about 40 percent to feed a smelter in Gresik on Java island.

New Rules

Under new rules announced in January, Indonesia said companies that want to export semi-processed metals including concentrate must convert their Contract of Work to a special mining license, build smelters and add local investors. Freeport declined to switch to the new system, insisting on the investment guarantees, and its exports have been halted since the middle of January.

The rules stipulate foreign miners must begin selling shares to local entities five years after starting production, and must reach 51 percent of local ownership by the 10th year. Freeport should immediately divest its stake after conversion, because the firm has been mining in the country for more than a decade, Deputy Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arcandra Tahar said in January. At present, Indonesia holds 9.36 percent of the Freeport unit.

Copper dropped as much as 0.4 percent to $5,730 a ton on the London Metal Exchange after the news Tuesday, before recovering to $5,774 by 5:32 p.m. in London. Citigroup Inc. said last week that global mine supply will probably shrink this year for the first time in more than a decade because of a wave of disruptions from strikes, government disputes and bad weather. Intraday prices reached $6,204 in February, the highest since May 2015.

 Source : Bloomberg, April 04, 2017

Terakhir Diperbaharui ( Selasa, 18 April 2017 07:53 )

Status IUPK Freeport Terancam Digugat

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JAKARTA. Belum usai gugatan Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil atas kebvjakan hilirisasi mineral yang diterbitkan pemerintah, koalisi tersebut juga berencana menggugat kesepakatan pemerintah dengan PT Freeport Indonesia terkait perubahan status kontrak karya mei\jadi Izin Usaha Pertambangan Khusus (IUPK) Sementara.

Ahmad Redi, Jurubicara Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil, menyatakan, pihaknya sedang memelajari kesepakatan yang dibuat Kementerian ESDM dan PT Freeport Indonesia. "Kami menjajaki pengajuan gugatan ke Pengadilan Tata Usaha Negara (PTUN)," kata Ahmad kepada KONTAN, Minggii (2/4).

Pekan lalu, Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil mengajukan gugatan ke Mahkamah Agung (MA) terkait terbitnya tiga aturan. Petianta. Peraturan Pemerintah No. 01 Tahun 2017 tentang Perubahan Keempat atas Peraturan Pemerintah No. 23/2010 tentang Pelaksanaan Kegiatan Usaha Pertambangan Mineral dan Batubara.

Dua peraturan turunannya juga mereka gugat. Yakni Peraturan. Menteri ESDM No.5/2017 tentang Peningkatan Nilai Tambah Melalui Kegiatan Pengolahan dan Pemurnian Mineral di Dalam Negeri Permen ESDM No 6/2017 tentang Tata Cara dan Persyaratan Pemberian Pelaksanaan Penjualan Mineral Ke Luar Negeri Masil Pengolahan dan Pemurnian. "Untuk gugatan yang telah kami ajukan, kami menunggu proses di MA. Kami menunggu dulu sembari mempelajari status IUPK Freeport," jelas Ahmad.

Menanggapi ancaman gugatan, Direktur Jenderal Mineral dan Batubara (Dirjen Minerba) Kementerian ESDM Bambang Gatot Ariyono tidak keberatan. Pihaknya bergeming dengan keputusan yang telah atau disepakati dengan PT Freeport Indonesia. "Kita lihat saja hasilnya nanti," jawab Bambang kepada KONTAN, Minggii (2/4).

Asal tahu saja. Menteri ESDM Ignasius Jonan membuat kesepakatan tak tertulis dengan PT Freeport Indonesia soal perubahan status kontrak karya Freeport Indonesia menjadi IUPK Sementara.

Dengan menyandang status IUPK Sementara, Freeport bisa kembali mengekspor konsentrat tembaga dalam waktu dekat. Setelah status IUPK Sementara disepakati. Kementerian ESDM dan PT Freeport Indonesia masih melakukan negosiasi lanjutan dalam tempo enam bulan lagi mulai April 2017. Bila dalam waktu enam bulan tersebut Freeport Indonesia sepakat dengan semua hasil negosiasi, Freeport Indonesia selamanya menjadi IUPK.

Pratama Guitara

 Sumber : Kontan, 03 April 2017

Terakhir Diperbaharui ( Selasa, 18 April 2017 07:48 )