07/12/2018, 13.01
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Jakarta now owns 51 per cent of Freeport, for Widodo, national interests come first

Located in Papua, the mine is one of the largest in the world. Negotiations between the government and the US giant FMCG lasted about three and a half years. According to local sources, the total value of the operation is around US$ 4 billion.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Indonesia has bought a majority share in one of the largest mines in the world (pictured) from US giant Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FMCG).

Speaking at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE-BSD) in Tangerang (Banten), President Joko Widodo announced this morning that Inalum, the state-owned mining holding company, "reached an agreement with Freeport related to our 51 percent ownership of [Freeport] from the previous figure of 9.36 per cent."

Widodo said that negotiation process had been "very tough", lasting about three and a half years. On 22 August 2017, Jakarta and FMCG inked an agreement on the ownership of the mine, which extracts copper, gold and silver.

In the past, the US multinational had challenged the authorities, threatening to suspend its activities with the consequent loss of numerous jobs.

The president did not reveal how much Indonesia was paying, but local sources said it was around US$ 4 billion.

For Widodo, Freeport’s divestment was a breakthrough for Indonesia, because the country could now enjoy more taxes, royalty and dividends.

“Our national interests should come first,” Jokowi said, adding that the successful deal was followed by the takeover of Mahakam Block, now managed by state-owned energy giant Pertamina.

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