Monday, January 25, 2016

1) Freeport yet to Pay Indonesia Smelter Deposit as Export Deadline Looms

2) New Vanuatu government to face further instability - Nathan
3) Sport: West Papua Warriors gunning for title in Cabramatta debut
1) Freeport yet to Pay Indonesia Smelter Deposit as Export Deadline Looms
Wilda Asmarini | on 12:05 PM January 26, 2016
Jakarta. Freeport McMoRan Inc has yet to pay a $530 million deposit for a new Indonesian smelter, which the government is demanding before renewing the US company’s export permit for copper concentrate, a mines ministry official said on Tuesday.
Freeport, which has seen its stock plummet over 70 percent in the last three months as commodity markets plunge, could be forced to halt exports from its massive Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua if it fails to meet government obligations.

Freeport executives are expected to discuss the issue with the government at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
“So far, there has been no update,” Bambang Gatot Ariyono, director general of coal and minerals in the ministry, told Reuters. “We still don’t know yet whether to ban (Freeport’s exports) today or not.”
A trade ministry official has said the U.S. company’s export permit expires on Tuesday and that a six-month renewal would not be issued until the deposit was submitted.
Freeport officials were not immediately available to comment.
Under normal conditions, Freeport Indonesia produces about 220,000 tonnes of copper ore per day, of which about a third usually goes to its domestic smelter at Gresik, with the rest exported as concentrate. Any reduction in exports could help buoy copper prices that have dropped around 6 percent so far this year on worries over a global supply glut.
The $530 million is intended to be a guarantee that the Phoenix, Arizona-based company will complete construction of another local smelter, which the government hopes will boost returns from its natural resources.
The amount would add to an estimated $80 million that Freeport set aside in July to obtain its current export permit.
Additional reporting by Michael Taylor
2) New Vanuatu government to face further instability - Nathan
Updated at 7:36 am today
Despite widespread hopes that this election would bring an end to decades of political instability, a leading Vanuatu politician says the next parliament is likely to be unsettled as well.
While final results from Friday's snap election are yet to be confirmed, preliminary results suggest there will be a record ten independent MPs in the 52-seat house, and 17 political parties - although eight of these have just one MP.
Joe Natuman, whose Vanua'aku Pati is part of the United Front for Change bloc that hopes to form the government, says no party will be able to form a solid majority on current results.
He says whoever forms the next government will have to work with a large number of independents, and again deal with instability.
"Unless of course major political parties could come together, reach an understanding, and work together. But the more we have independent people they will continue to topple governments, so we'll see how that goes. So one of the important things that we need to do is political reform."

3) Sport: West Papua Warriors gunning for title in Cabramatta debut

Updated at 11:39 am today
The West Papua Warriors rugby league team are looking forward to their Cabramatta Nines debut this weekend, and believe they can challenge for the title as they continue to fine-tune preparations for next month's international against the Philippines development side.
The team was formed last year to raise awareness about the ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua, and is made up of players from PNG's domestic competition and the Indonesian province.
Team captain Tala Kami says they've been training five times a week and the Cabramatta event in Sydney is another great chance to get some time out on the field.
"The fitness is getting there. It's good that we had a run just now on the weekend. We went off to one of the villages just outside of Port Moresby and we had a couple nines games, just to warm up for the Cabramatta Nines. We had about three games. There was a lot of rust but the boys are looking sharp and hopefully it will equate to a good performance."
32 teams are scheduled to compete in the Cabramatta Nines this weekend, including teams linked to American Samoa, Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands and Fiji.

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