Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Director of PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) Tony Wenas stated that the discussion process on increasing the Indonesian Government's shares in Freeport was still ongoing and needed time.

"This is a bureaucratic process. There is an administration process. PP 96 also needs to be revised, so it takes time, but hopefully, it can be resolved," Wenas remarked during his visit to the official residence of Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Minister of Investment and Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia held an Eid al-Fitr open house at his official residence in Jakarta.

Wenas remarked that in relation to the additional shares, it is necessary to revise Government Regulation (PP) Number 96 of 2021 concerning the implementation of mineral and coal mining business activities.

The Indonesian Government is keen to increase share ownership of PT Freeport Indonesia, from 51 percent to 61 percent.

According to Wenas, all parties already have a mutual understanding regarding the increase in government shares in Freeport.

However, he was reluctant to comment regarding the extension of Freeport's special mining business permit (IUPK).

"Later, ask Mr. Bahlil about the IUPK issuance," he remarked.

He said that during this week, there had been no activities related to discussions on increasing the Indonesian Government's shares in Freeport.

"This week, basically there has been almost no activity," he remarked.

PTFI's IUPK will expire in 2041. To this end, PTFI has applied for an extension of the operating contract after 2041 but has not yet received confirmation since several requirements are still being considered.

One of the conditions requested by PTFI is to increase the government's share ownership in the mining company by 10 percent or to 61 percent.

Wenas remarked that currently, those requirements are still in the discussion stage. Apart from that, the construction of a new smelter is also mentioned as a requirement.

PTFI needs certainty of extending the work contract as soon as possible, so that it can explore the mine. According to Wenas, it will take up to 15 years to build a mine.

Earlier, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had targeted negotiations on government share ownership of PTFI of 61 percent to be completed by June 2024.

"The regulations are to be completed first and then the negotiations can be finalized immediately, but as I saw earlier, my target is at least until June," President Jokowi remarked after attending the opening of the 12th Hikmahbudhi Congress in Jakarta, Thursday (March 28).

President Jokowi believes that the 61 percent share ownership can be realized after negotiations with PT Freeport Indonesia reach a consensus.

Moreover, the government is finalizing the revision of PP Number 96 of 2021 concerning the implementation of mineral and coal mining business activities.

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Translator: Martha Herlinawati Simanjuntak, Cindy Frishanti Oc
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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