Monday, February 16, 2015

1) Smelter for Papua, but Not Freeport Indonesia’s

2) Micah: O’Neill serious on Papua
3) Boxes with 40 Bullets Found in Merauke
4) Perhutani Postpones Canal Construction in South Sorong
5) Govt Lifts Demand on Freeport to Build Papua Smelter: Report

6) Govt, Freeport Agree to Build Smelter


1) Smelter for Papua, but Not Freeport Indonesia’s

And the Electricity? The government says foreign investors, but not Freeport, will fund the project

By Rangga Prakoso & Robert Isidorus on 10:53 pm Feb 16, 2015
Jakarta. The Indonesian government’s plans to compel miner Freeport Indonesia to build a smelter in the country continue to get bogged down in uncertainty, the latest twist being that the company will supply ore to a planned smelter in Papua, the province in which it operates.
R. Sukhyar, the director general of mineral and coal at the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, made the announcement in Jakarta on Monday, following a visit to Papua over the weekend by the minister, Sudirman Said, where he met Papua Governor Lukas Enembe and Freeport Indonesia president director Maroef Sjamsuddin.
“There are investors from China or the US who are interested to build” the new smelter, Sukhyar said.
“Freeport will only supply concentrate as raw material for the smelter.”
The surprise announcement of the new smelter comes just weeks after the copper and gold miner secured a six-month extension to export concentrate, on the back of securing a lease for land in Gresik, East Java, to build a smelter.
The choice of Gresik, where Freeport Indonesia and another copper miner, Newmont Nusa Tenggara, currently send much of their concentrate for processing at a smelter run by the Indonesian company Smelting, did not sit well with officials in Papua, including Governor Lukas, who demanded that Freeport Indonesia set up a smelter there to create jobs in the region in which it operates.
With the planned new smelter, the energy ministry will revise the permitted capacity of Freeport Indonesia’s Gresik smelter.
“Because there will be a smelter in Papua, the consequence is that the capacity at the Gresik facility will no longer be two million tons of concentrates,” Sukhyar said.
Freeport Indonesia initially planned to produce up to 500,000 tons of copper cathode annually at the Gresik facility, which would require two million tons of concentrate. The company has invested $2 billion for the smelter.
Sukhyar did not elaborate on the capacity or investment of the new smelter in Papua.
He also did not explain where the electricity to power the smelter would come from, given the critical dearth of electricity generation and power infrastructure in Papua.
A spokeswoman for Freeport Indonesia did not respond to a request for comment from GlobeAsia.
Officials at the weekend meeting in Papua agreed that the provincial administration and the government of Mimika district, with help of foreign investors, would build the smelter in Amamapare, a port town in Papua from where Freeport Indonesia currently ships out its concentrate.
Another possible location is Paumako, about 30 kilometers inland from Amamapare, which the local government has designated as an industrial zone, Sukhyar said.
Freeport Indonesia is a unit of US mining giant Freeport McMoRan, and operates Grasberg, one of the biggest copper and gold mines in the world.


2) Micah: O’Neill serious on Papua  

From POST COURIER  News Mon 16 Feb 2015
PORT MORESBY, PNG --- Papua New Guinea Enterprises and State Investment Minister Ben Micah has rejected suggestions that the Prime Minister’s announcement of a policy shift on West Papua was a knee-jerk announcement.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced on 05 February, at a Leadership Summit, that it was time for Papua New Guinea to speak out on the oppression of “our brothers and sisters” in West Papua.
Since this announcement, the mainstream and social media had been awash with support for this major shift in attitude to Melanesians living under Indonesian rule.
There had however been certain critics who say this announcement was not well thought out and lacked a definite policy platform.
Micah is a long time avid supporter of a greater Melanesia, and the cause of the West Papua people.
During Grievance Debate in Parliament on Friday, he seized the opportunity to hammer the critics.
“The Prime Minister did not speak about West Papua just to colour his speech. This is an issue he feels strongly about,” Micah said.
He said the Prime Minister in fact discussed this issue when he met president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during an official visit to Indonesia in 2013.
“I was with the Prime Minister when he raised the issue with President Susilo. In that meeting we agreed that there would be no peace or harmony if the West Papua issue was not given the attention it deserved.
“We will engage with the Indonesian Government to pursue this,” he said.
Leaders who have been vocal about the plight of the West Papuan people included NCD Governor Powes Parkop, and Northern (Oro) Governor Gary Juffa.

3) Boxes with 40 Bullets Found in Merauke
Merauke, Jubi – A resident found two cardboard boxes filled with 40 bullets in front of elementary school SD Budi Mulia in Merauke district, the military said.
The chief of Military Command 1707 in Merauke, Lt. Col. I Made Alit Yuda told reporters Thursday (12/02/2015) that Rangga, 16, found the boxes on January 8 and immediately brought them to the military.
Initially he thought there were phones in the boxes, so took and then opened them.
“Our personnel have received and secured the bullets. Yes, he was questioned and then immediately let go as he did not know where the bullets were from,” he said.
“I don’t know the size of the bullet, but we’re looking for more information,” he said.
Separately, the chief of Merauke police criminal investigation  Adjunct Commissioner Chanda said he was not aware of the finding. (Frans L Kobun/ Tina)

4) Perhutani Postpones Canal Construction in South Sorong

Sorong, Jubi – PT. Perum Perhutani has postponed building a canal because of a dispute with the local community over land rights.
The canal, once built, is expected to facilitate distribution of sago palm stems from the forest to the mill.
“The canal could not be built because  the canal can damage the public perception of sago forest,” head of branch of Perum Perhutani in South Sorong, Ronald Suitelah said at the office in Teminabuan on Wednesday (11/02/2015).
The company will focus on educating the community about the importance of a canal that will not damage the sago forest, and benefit residents and  animals that live in the sago forest.
While tribal leader of Imeko and other five regions including Kais distrct, Dominggus Aifufu stated he would conduct negotiations, so that they would understand and know the intention of the company to build the canal. (Nees Makuba/ Tina)


5) Govt Lifts Demand on Freeport to Build Papua Smelter: Report

By Reuters on 03:40 pm Feb 16, 2015

An aerial view shows the site of the Grasberg Mine, operated by US-based Freeport-McMoran, in Papua. (Reuters Photo/Muhammad Yamin)
Jakarta. The government has dropped its demand that Freeport-McMoran Inc build a $1.5 billion copper smelter in Papua province, saying a regionally owned enterprise would take on the project instead, news website reported, quoting the mining minister.
The ministry in December said Arizona-based Freeport, which runs the world’s fifth-largest copper mine in Indonesia, should agree to build the Papua smelter in five years if it wanted a mining contract extension beyond 2021.
The latest decision could ease pressure on Freeport, which has already agreed to a $2.3-billion expansion by 2017 of its copper smelting facility in East Java, currently the only one in the country.
The government has been pushing the company to comply with rules that force miners to process and refine minerals domestically.
“If Freeport is burdened in two locations it would be uneconomical,” Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said said on Sunday, according to the Detik report.
A regionally owned enterprise would build the Papua smelter and could team up with other investors on the project, the ministry said in a document obtained by Reuters.
An investor from China has already approached the Papua administration, Detik’s report cited Sudirman as saying, without providing details.
“A smelter on its own is not economical so we are building an [industrial] zone to make it more attractive,” the minister said.
A ministry spokesman was not immediately available to confirm the comments.
The 650-hectare industrial zone in Papua’s Mimika area is not far from Freeport’s concentrate pipeline and already has a port and electrical infrastructure, according to the document.
The zone will also include a cement packaging plant, a liquefied petroleum gas filling plant, a fertilizer plant and a petrochemicals plant.
“This is a win-win solution,” Sudirman said, adding that Freeport would be contractually required to supply copper concentrate to the Papua smelter.
“Whoever is tasked to build the smelter in Papua, Freeport Indonesia will form a business-to-business contract with them to supply concentrate,” Freeport Indonesia CEO Maroef Sjamsuddin said in the document.
Freeport is expected to produce 2 million tonnes of copper concentrate from its Indonesian operations in 2015, up from 1.4 million tonnes in 2014.
Indonesia aims to develop 4.5 million tonnes of copper concentrate processing capacity nationally, Said said, up from 1.2 million tonnes at present.

6) Govt, Freeport Agree to Build Smelter

Timika, Jubi/Antara – The Indonesian government and copper and gold miner PT Freeport Indonesia have agreed to build a smelter in Timika industrial estate, Papua province.
The agreement was reached after Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said, Public Works and Housing Minister Hadi Muljono and entourage paid a two-day visit in the easternmost Indonesian province on Saturday and Sunday (February 14 to 15).
During the visit, Sudirman Said held talks with a number of stakeholders, including Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, members of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI), members of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP), members of the Papua Legislative Council (DPR), Mimiki District Head Eltinus Omaleng and PT Freeport Indonesia President Director Maroef Sjamsuddin.
The minister told reporters at Rimba Papua Hotel in Timika on Sunday that the construction of the smelter in Papua was an integral part of national smelter development program.
“What we are going to build is national capacity and therefore, a national study team will soon be set up,” he said.
The construction of the smelter in Papua was part of the development of an industrial estate that the Papua provincial government and the Mimika district government were preparing, he said.
Not only the smelter but also upstream industries and other supporting industries would be built in the industrial estate, he said.
Sudirman further said the Papua provincial government was gearing up for the construction of a cement packing plant near Paumako port in Timika.
In the future, the cement packing plant would be developed into a cement factory to meet rising demand in Papua, he said.
Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US-based Freeport-McMoRan Inc., has been operating the Grasberg mine in Papua since the 1970s.
The company sells most of the copper concentrate produced from its Grasberg operation overseas and only sends roughly 40 percent of its production to PT Smelting Gresik, which operates the only copper smelter in the country. Freeport Indonesia has a 25-percent stake in Smelting Gresik.
Following the implementation of the 2009 Mining Law, the government started on Jan. 12 last year to ban the export of mineral ore. Consequently, Freeport Indonesia has to process all of its semi-finished copper concentrate into the end product, copper cathode, in domestic smelters.
To develop the smelter and industrial estate, the Public Works and Housing Ministry had expressed full support to match its programs with the national spatial planning.
PT Freeport said it will support the Public Works and Housing Ministry’s plan to break the isolation of several areas by developing roads to Ilaga, Puncak district and Supaga Intan Jaya. (*)

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