10 Jul 2014

West Papua copper exports may resume

7:09 am on 10 July 2014

The mining company Freeport, which owns the massive Grasberg mine in West Papua, says it has agreed on a draft memorandum with the Indonesia government to resume copper exports.

Government officials say Freeport has agreed to divest 30 percent of its Indonesia unit, pay a 4 percent royalty for copper sales and 3.75 percent for copper, as well as building a smelter in Indonesia.

However, Freeport says it has yet to sign the agreement and there is still no timeframe for when exports will resume.

Legal experts have also warned that such agreements are not legally binding and the agreement could still fail when a new government takes office in October, after yesterday's election.

Freeport has been in talks with Jakarta to resolve a six-month dispute over strict new export rules that has halted copper concentrate exports.