Papua, Govt Eye Stakes in Freeport

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold plans to sell a 9.36 percent stake in its Indonesian unit to the Papua provincial government, company spokesman Budiman Moer­dijat said in Jakarta on Thursday.

The sale of the stake in PT Freeport Indonesia is expected to be completed this year, he said.

“Freeport is in the negotiation process to sell the shares to Papua provincial government,” Budiman said.

PT Aneka Tambang, Indonesia’s second-biggest nickel producer, and the Papua government may join to buy the 9.36 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia, the Investor Daily Indonesia reported in December, citing Antam president director Alwin Syah Loebis.

The central government is also reviewing a plan to increase its stake in Freeport, said Sahala Lumban Gaol, deputy state enterprises minister in charge of mining and energy.

“The government will look thoroughly at the cost and benefits of the plan before making any decision,” Sahala said, adding that it had yet to decide how big a stake it wanted to buy.

Sahala said the government formally submitted this proposal to Freeport’s headquarters on Tuesday, and the company generally welcomed the idea. He said that with the higher stake, the government wanted to have a representative on Freeport Indonesia’s board of commissioners.

Budiman declined to comment on the central government’s proposal.

The central government owns a 9.36 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia, while Freeport-McMoRan controls the rest.

Source: Jakarta Globe

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