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Wednesday, 10 February 2016 - 20:03 WIB

Indigenous Papuans Should Decided Freeport’s Future, says Legislator

Freeport head office in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - Supplied

Freeport head office in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - Supplied

Freeport head office in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - Supplied

Freeport head office in Phoenix, Arizona, USA – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – Indigenous Papuans should be given the right to determine the future of PT Freeport Indonesia, Papuan legislator from Mimika electoral district, Wilhelmus Pigai, said.

He warned the Central Government against ignoring Papuans, especially the landowners in discussing Freeport’s contract extension.

“The Central Government shouldn’t extend the Freeport’s contract of work without involving the landowners. People must be given the authority to agree or disagree on the extension,” Pigai told Jubi by phone on Wednesday (9/2/2016).

He said furthermore what is produced by Freeport came from the Papuan natural resources. That mining company is operating on the land of customary people. Those who affected by the mining activity are the local people not residents in the other Indonesian regions. “Papua has the Special Autonomy Law. Whatever it takes in Papua must refer to the Special Autonomy Law instead of the Law on Mineral, Energy and Coal or Government Regulation Number 77,” he said.

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According to him, if the government –central, provincial and regional levels—neglected the landowners, thus the councilor would conduct a protest. “There are components in Papua that should be involved by the Central Government in negotiating the Freeport’s contract of work. It couldn’t be done by chance, couldn’t be decided on one side. It has a rule,” he said.

Freeport McMoran Inc has submitted its request on six months export permit for about 1 million tones of copper concentrate, “ said an official of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources on Tuesday (26/1/2015).

Freeport Indonesia, which operates one of world biggest copper mining in Papua, has been requested to pay deposit amounted US$ 530 million to build a new smelter in Indonesia in order to renew its export permit.

“Freeport requested to export about 1 million tons of copper for next six months,” the Director of Mineral Department Mohammad Hidayat cited by Reuters.

“They exported only 500 thousand tons of copper for the last six months –it’s under their export quota,” he added. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)

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