27 Feb 2017

US miner in West Papua threatens legal action against Indonesia

8:13 pm on 27 February 2017

A US-based mining giant has warned it could take legal action against Indonesia over a dispute about the Grasberg mine in Papua province.

Freeport-McMoRan said it could take Indonesia's government to arbitration and seek damages over the contractual dispute which has stalled operations at the world's second-biggest copper mine.

Freeport is in protracted negotiations with Jakarta over the terms around extension of its licence to mine the massive Papua deposit.

Freeport-McMoran mine in West Papua.

Freeport-McMoran mine in West Papua. Photo: AFP PHOTO / OLIVIA RONDONUWU

The mining conglomerate was already in dispute over US$469 million in water taxes and penalties claimed by Papua province dating back to 2011.

But mining operations at Grasberg ground to a halt eleven days ago over a government move to halt exports of copper concentrate to boost domestic industries.

Freeport said it would only agree to a new mining permit with the same fiscal and legal protection in its current contract.

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