"As for the divestment and smelter problem an agreement has in principle been reached. There is only taxation issue left to be discussed," the minister said after meeting President Joko Widodo here on Monday.
The government has demanded the subsidiary of the US mining giant Freeport McMoran Inc. to divest its majority share to the government and build a smelter for its copper concentrate in exchange for the extension of its operation license.
Jonan said Freeport, which operates the worlds largest gold mine and third largest copper mine in Papua, had agreed to divest 51 percent of its share, but the method of divestment has yet to be negotiated.
He said there is final negotiation on the taxation issue this month "but it is more an area of the finance ministry."
The government has been in dispute with Freeport over tax regulation, royalty, 51 percent divestment stake and requirement to process its copper concentrate into metal.(*)