Monday, February 6, 2017

1) Government stands firm as Freeport threatens to cut production

2) How West Papuas gold rush has created a wasteland: Indonesian islands lush tropical riverland is laid waste by toxic dumping from the worlds biggest gold mine 

3) Papua`s Tanjung Saruri Tipped to become New Surfing Heaven

1) Government stands firm as Freeport threatens to cut production
Fedina S. Sundaryani The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Tue, February 7, 2017 | 08:15 am
The government seems set to ignore threats by United States mining giant Freeport-McMoran Inc to cut production at its Papuan mine and slash its local workforce if it does not receive a permit to continue exporting copper concentrates by the middle of the month.
Last month, the government relaxed a ban on mineral exports so long as miners still in possession of a contract of work (CoW) converted it to a special mining permit (IUPK).
Freeport Indonesia, the mining giant’s local unit, has not complied, according to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. The ministry’s mineral and coal director general, Bambang Gatot Ariyono, said on Monday that not one mining firm had submitted an official application to convert to a IUPK.
“We have not given [Freeport Indonesia] an export permit because, as stipulated by ministerial decree No. 5/2017 and No. 6/2017, if the company has not submitted a proposal and has not fulfilled the requirements, then we cannot issue the permit. They must still submit a proposal,” he said.
The conversion is stipulated in the two ministerial decrees as derivatives of the fourth revision of Government Regulation No. 23/2010 on the management of mineral and coal businesses that allows miners to continue exporting copper concentrates, certain amounts of low-grade nickel and washed bauxite.
The issuance of the ministerial regulation contravenes the 2009 Mining Law, which imposed a total ban on mineral ore exports in 2014, and stipulated that mining companies must build domestic smelters in a bid to strengthen the processing industry.
According to the Processing and Smelting Companies Association (AP3I), 32 new smelters — 24 of which are nickel smelters — have been built in the country since 2012, with a total investment of around US$20 billion.
Nevertheless, Freeport Indonesia has not shown significant progress in developing smelters, and with its status as a CoW holder, it was forced to stop exporting copper concentrates on Jan. 12.
This does not seem to bode well for either Freeport Indonesia or Freeport-McMoran, which issued a press statement last Friday demanding that the government grant it a continuation of exports or else the firm would have to reduce its production to match available domestic capacity at PT Smelting, which processes approximately 40 percent of Freeport Indonesia’s concentrate production.
Freeport Indonesia said it would also be required to significantly adjust its cost structure, reduce its workforce and suspend investment in its underground development projects and new smelter.
“For each month of the delay in obtaining approval to export, PT FI’s [Freeport Indonesia] share of production is projected to be reduced by approximately 70 million pounds of copper and 70,000 ounces of gold,” it said.
Freeport-McMoran claims that by immediately converting to an IUPK, it would have to forgo its rights to fiscal and legal certainty and that it had “advised the government that it cannot accept these conditions unless a mutually satisfactory replacement agreement is completed”. Meanwhile Bambang said converting to an IUPK would nullify Freeport Indonesia’s CoW before its expiration in 2021.
Center for Energy and Mining Law (Pushep) executive director Bisman Bhaktiar said that although Freeport’s production cut might hurt state revenues in the short term, the long-term benefits of forcing all CoW holders to convert to an IUPK would be fruitful for the downstream sector.
“If [Freeport] cannot export it will definitely have a negative impact in both the social and economic sense. However, that will only be for the short term and the government’s task is to anticipate this and handle it quickly,” he said.


Lots of photos in article

2) How West Papuas gold rush has created a wasteland: Indonesian islands lush tropical riverland is laid waste by toxic dumping from the world's biggest gold mine 

  •  In 1969 Indonesia annexed what had been Dutch New Guinea after a highly 'Act of Free Choice' referendum 
  •  Since then the area, whose indigenous people are ethnically similar to Papua New Guineans, has been  swamped by settlers from other over-crowded Indonesian islands
  • West Papua is home to the world's third largest copper mine and large deposits of gold have also been found
  • But the gold rush at the Grasberg mine has devastated the ecology of the rivers which run through the area
  • Indonesia is accused by an Australian group of a 'slow-motion genocide' against indigenous West Papuans 
By Chris Summers For Mailonline PUBLISHED: 09:23 +11:00, 7 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:54 +11:00, 7 February 2017   

The western half of the island of New Guinea is rich in minerals, especially copper and gold, but its discovery has been a very mixed blessing for the local people.
It was the Dutch who first discovered minerals on the island in the 1930s and when the Netherlands cut its ties with the colony in the late 1960s it was the presence of the goodies underground which tempted neighbouring Indonesia. 
What had been Dutch New Guinea was annexed by Indonesia in 1969 after a highly questionable referendum, known as the ‘Act of Free Choice'. 

The indigenous people, who are ethnically Melanesian, mainly Christian, and kinfolk of neighbouring Papua New Guinea, have been oppressed ever since by Muslim Indonesian settlers and Jakarta's occupying army. 
In 1971 Melanesians made up 96 percent of the population but now they are in a minority and by 2020, if migration rates remain the same, they will be less than three in 10 of the population. 
The West Papuans have also suffered as the land they depend on has been devastated by mining.

Indigenous tribes like the Kamoro say they have been hit by disease, poverty and environmental degradation since operations began at the Grasberg mine in 1973. 
Their chief, Hironimus Urmani, told The Guardian: 'Nature is a blessing from God, and we are known by the three S's: Sago (trees), sampan (canoes) and Sungani (rivers). But life is very difficult now.'
The Free West Papua movement has been demanding independence for the territory but has struggled to gain attention in a world distracted by other issues. 
The Grasberg mine is owned by an American firm, Freeport McMoRan, which is based in Arizona. They did not respond to Mail Online's request for a response.


TUESDAY, 07 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 14:28 WIB
3) Papua`s Tanjung Saruri Tipped to become New Surfing Heaven

TEMPO.COBiak - Located on the Pacific coast of the regency of Biak Numfor in Papua, Tanjung Saruri waters is expected to become a surfing destination. “The constructions of tourism facilities are underway,” Biak Tourism Office head Yubelius Usior said Tuesday, February 7, as quoted by Antara.
Yubelus said that the area boasts high waves and beautiful scenery. According to him, the local government has therefore built tourism information centers, access roads to Telaga Biru Samares tourist attraction in East Biak district, and toilets in Sanumin village and Bondifuar district. “Using APBD [regional budget], the Tourism Department is developing lodges and a theme park for visitors in Tanjung Saruri area to enjoy the marine scenery,” he said. Yubelius said that Tanjung Saruri tourist attraction will be operated by locals to fulfill the right of indigenous people. Going forward, tourism facilities will be operated professionally. “To generate revenue for the regency.” “In 2017, the Tourism Department will revamp tourism facilities in Biak Numfor with Rp1 billion funding support from the Tourism Ministry,” he said. ANTARA

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