Indonesia, Freeport to finalise investment, mining permit by end-Nov – govt

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s discussions with U.S. miner Freeport McMoran on the government’s plan to increase its stake in its Indonesian unit and on extending its mining permit are expected to wrap up by end-November, President Joko Widodo said.

Indonesia and Freeport discussed a 10% increase in the country’s ownership in copper miner Freeport Indonesia and extending its mining permit by 20 years, according to a statement released on Tuesday by the Indonesian presidential palace.

Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, made the comment in a meeting with Freeport’s Chairman Richard Adkerson on Monday in Washington.

The Indonesian president is in the United States to attend meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Freeport Indonesia’s permit will expire in 2041 and the government, through a state company has a 51% stake in the company.

Senior cabinet minister Erick Thohir said that at the same meeting the government also discussed with Freeport its plan to invest in copper processing facilities in Indonesia.

Freeport is currently building a smelter in East Java, but the government also wants the company to invest in a plant in West Papua.

(Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy and Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)