Newmont filed the arbitration to seek relief from export restrictions on unprocessed mineral ore imposed in January.
The official said that if an agreement could be found with Freeport Indonesia, — which operates the world’s biggest gold mine, in Papua — then Newmont would follow suit.
Freeport’s operation in Indonesia is significantly larger than Newmont’s. Freeport produced 900 million pounds of copper in 2013, almost five times more than Newmont’s 161 million pounds of copper in the same period.
Newmont Nusa Tenggara and its majority shareholder, Dutch-registered Nusa Tenggara Partnership (NTPBV) filed an international arbitration against the government earlier this week in response to the export restrictions introduced in January.
Freeport Indonesia, meanwhile, as reported by Reuters, is still in talks with the government and has no plan to file an international arbitration.
The government had restricted export of unrefined minerals by imposing punitive export duty and introducing other stringent measures. The move was a long-anticipated corollary of the 2009 Mining Law that seeks to add value to the country’s mineral resources.
Mahendra Siregar, the head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), said Indonesia was a large nation and should not be afraid of foreign investors like Newmont.
“What we’re aiming for [in terms of export restrictions] is to develop our economy and sustain our growth,” he said.
Mahendra said the government is committed to its international agreements and would seek to protect foreign investors in the country.
“However, what we have done is mandated by the law,” he added.
Susilo Siswoutomo, the deputy minister for energy and mineral resources, claimed that the government’s policy had been misinterpreted.
“It is not about the export ban. Miners can still export their [unrefined] minerals but they have to follow regulations and meet our terms,” he said.
Susilo, Mahendra and Sukhyar met with chief economics minister Chairul Tanjung on Thursday to discuss Newmont’s arbitration case.
Susilo said he had also reported to Chairul that the government had reached a conclusion on renegotiation talks with 40 holders of mining “contracts of works” (CoW) and “coal contract of works” (CCoW) — 15 more than last year.
The government had initiated contract renegotiations with CoW and CCoW holders in order to adjust the provisions in line with the 2009 Mining Law.
There are six points in the contract renegotiation, namely a value-added obligation, contractual period, size of operation, local content obligation, government revenue and divestment.
Additional reporting from Reuters
Six West Papua activists beaten and arrestedSix West Papua activists beaten and arrested KNPB members detained for distributing leaflets calling for election boycott Scoop.co.nz Indonesia July 4, 2014 The National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) has reported that a six of their activists were arrested, beaten and taken to the Jayapura Police Station on Thursday afternoon. The six activists are Ono Balingga, Hakul Kobak, Yandri Heselo, Gesman Tabuni, Ronal Wenda. The name of the sixth activist is not known at this stage.
They were arrested simply because they were distributing leaflets calling on the West Papuan people to boycott the presidential election, which is to be held on July 9. Local media has reported that in Timika the Police were also searching for people who distributed leaflets urging voters to boycott the July 9 presidential election and demanding a referendum.
“A group led by Teni Kwalik is behind it because he made a statement calling for the boycott of the presidential election,” Mimika Police Deputy Chief Commissioner Wirasto Adi Nugroho said on Tuesday in Timika, and “we have advised the local people to report to the police when they have any information, so we can arrest the perpetrators”.
He went on to say that police had erased the graffiti and destroyed the leaflets to avoid public unrest. Nugroho said the situation of Mimika Regency is relatively still favorable. Joe Collins of AWPA (Sydney) said, “the security forces appear to be targeting any civil society groups who are calling for a boycott of the presidential election and are deploying over 300 police and soldiers for security during the election”.
The Puncak Jaya Police chief, adjunct commissioner major (Pol) Marselis Sarimin, said “Yes, they have been called up to secure the presidential election from any disruption by certain groups that exist in Puncak Jaya region and other regions.” The Papua police chief, General Inspector, Tito Karnavian is also reported to have said that the security forces have shifted a number of troops to the areas that are considered vulnerable to security disturbances. Full Story: Six KNPB activists arrested and beaten Source: Scoop.co.nz