Sunday, July 27, 2014

1) Minsiters urged to meet West Papuan visitor

1) Minsiters urged to meet West Papuan visitor

2) Freeport royalties deal a big win for Indonesia

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1) Minsiters urged to meet West Papuan visitor


Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West Papua. West Papua is all but closed to international journalists and other independent observers so police and military atrocities don’t make our headlines.
Mr Victor Mambor, 39, Editor of the Jayapura-based newspaper and website Tabloid Jubi, and Chairperson of West Papua’s Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) is in New Zealand for the week and is thought to be the first West Papuan journalist to visit this country.
"Victor has sought short interviews with Ministers Tolley and Coleman and I urge them to meet him," West Papua Action Auckland Spokesperson Maire Leadbeater said today. "New Zealand has for years provided military training to Indonesian officers and recently ran police training, as a pilot programme, in the territory. In 2011 an officer from the notorious Kopassus special forces attended a military training course here, despite the sad record of Kopassus murdering Papuan independence leaders.
"While Victor is in New Zealand, it is a rare opportunity for Cabinet Ministers to gain the perspective of an on-the-ground commentator. He is among the most influential journalists in West Papua and a passionate advocate for a free press. In recent years, he has campaigned internationally for greater press freedom, including early this year at the European Parliament."
Mr Mambor has written about police raids on local media offices, "fake journalists" who work for the police and military, and the disappearances and deaths of Papuan activists.
During his visit, Mr Mambor will be keynote speaker at a seminar about West Papua at Auckland University’s law faculty on August 1 and 2. The programme for West Papua - the Pacific’s Secret Shame will include Melbourne-based Papuan campaigner Paula Makabory, Auckland’s Pacific Media Centre Director Professor David Robie and Social and Cultural Studies Senior Lecturer Dr Elizabeth Stanley of Victoria University, Wellington.
His visit has been assisted by a journalism grant from the Asia New Zealand Foundation.
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2) Freeport royalties deal a big win for Indonesia

INDONESIA has cut a deal with Freeport McMoRan on export taxes and royalties, allowing the US mining giant to resume copper-concentrate exports after a six-month stalemate.
The company, one of the world’s biggest copper producers, mines almost a fifth of its copper in Indonesia and controls Grasberg, the country’s largest mine. Indonesia is a major producer of copper, tin and bauxite, and ranks as the world’s fourth-largest exporter of copper, an essential modern metal used to make pipes and wires.
Under the deal, Freeport’s Indonesia unit will pay higher royalties, help build a smelter and begin paying taxes on copper-concentrate exports, the government said.
Freeport also agreed to “provisions” to increase the stake in the local unit held by the Indonesian government and nationals to 30 per cent, from the current 9.36 per cent. Freeport currently owns a 90.64 per cent stake.
The deal represents a victory for Indonesia, which has tried to gain greater control of its vast natural resources and milk more in taxes and royalty payments from foreign miners and investors.
Freeport chairman James Moffett said the agreement would “enable continuing benefits of the Grasberg operations for the government, the local communities in Papua, our large Indonesian workforce and our shareholders”.
In January, the government imposed an export ban aimed at keeping lucrative refining work within the country.
That was bad news for Freeport and Newmont Mining, the other big Western miner in the country. Large Western mining companies say that so-called resource nationalism, such as export bans and tax increases, are one of their biggest challenges. Without their expertise, they say, countries such as Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo wouldn’t have profitable job-creating mines.
Newmont hasn’t yet agreed to an export deal and sought arbitration this month with the US-based International Centre for the Settlement of Investment to resolve its standoff with Indonesia.
“We are encouraged by the news about Freeport,” said spokesman Omar Jabara.
Newmont, he added, “has been holding ongoing meetings with the government to define the outlines of a separate memorandum of understanding” that would allow the company’s Batu Hijau copper and gold mine to resume operations after the company shut it down early last month because of the export ban.
Director-general of coal and mineral resources Sukhyar, who uses a single name, said once the deal with Freeport was signed the company may start exporting copper concentrate within two weeks. By the end of the year, Indonesia’s total copper exports are expected to reach 756,300 tonnes with an estimated value of $US1.56 billion ($1.66bn), said Mr Sukhyar. That is about half of last year’s exports of 1.45 million tonnes.
Freeport doesn’t disclose exports, but it says it produced roughly 400,000 tonnes of copper in Indonesia last year, up 24 per cent from 2012. It said in its most recent annual report that “sales from Indonesia mining are expected to increase in 2014 through 2016” as it “gains access to higher grade ore”.
Freeport has invested billions of dollars since the early 1960s in the eastern province of Papua to develop Grasberg, among the three biggest gold and copper mines on the planet.
Mr Sukhyar said Freeport would provide a $US115 million assurance bond to build a smelter, with duties on its exports declining to zero from 7.5 per cent as the facility progresses.
Meanwhile, its royalty payments will rise to 4 per cent from 3.5 per cent for copper and to 3.75 per cent from 1 per cent for gold.
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