Freeport worried about uncertainty over contract extension

Timika, Papua (ANTAR News) - President Director of PT Freeport Indonesia Maroef Sjamsoeddin said the U.S. mining giant was worried by uncertainty over extension of its contract.
"Currently we are facing a very important test in the history of PT Freeport Indonesia," Maroef said when speaking as inspector of ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the countrys independence here on Monday.
He said the parent company Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold has issued a policy of cost reduction program in facing the difficult time.
He said the company also is facing problem with the shrinking commodity prices in the global market.
As a result the price of the company shares has fallen in international markets, he added.
At the same time, the company needs much larger investment to continue the process of production from underground mining, and for the capacity expansion of its Gresik copper smelter in East Java.
The company plans to build a new smelter to process its copper concentrate in Gresik to comply with the government regulation requiring mining companies to process their minerals in the country.
Maroef called for "understanding of the objective condition and support for the steps to be taken by the management to take decision."
Earlier, legislator from Papua Wilhelmus Pigai asked the government to involve the regional administration and legislators from Papua and the Council of the People of Papua in discussing renewal of the contract for PT Freeport Indonesia.
Wilhemus said the central government is not the only one having the right to discuss the renewal of the contract of PT Freeport.
Papua governor Lukas Enembe and Mimika District Head Eltinus Omaleng, therefore, need to invite all parties concerned to discuss extension of the contract of PT Freeport Indonesia.
The present contract of work signed in 1991 by President Soeharto would expire in 2021.
Meanwhile a number of leaders of the Amungme tribes planned to meet President Joko Widodo to ask about their demand for compensations for land used by Freeport.(*)