Ilustration of Freeport Headquarter – IST
Jayapura, Jubi, The National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) has been exploring radioactive minerals (nuclear minerals) in several regions in Indonesia some time ago. The result found a number of potential uranium in some places.
BATAN cited the findings of uranium mineral potential in Kalan, Melawi, West Kalimantan.
In addition there are other potential areas contain uranium, such as in the province of Bangka Belitung Islands, Mamuju regency, West Sulawesi, Sibolga North Sumatra, and Biak Papua.
BATAN calculates the amount of uranium potential in Indonesia reaches 7,000 tons.
“The total potential containt in Indonesia is 7,000 tons, in various places in Mamuju, Kalan, Papua, and other places, which has definitely clear in Kalan,” explained Head of Batan Sudi Ariyanto as quoted by detikFinance.
In search of potential uranium in Indonesia, BATAN is also assisted by other agencies that help to map potential uranium in Indonesia. Through their mapping, BATAN claimed potential uranium in Papua is laid in Biak Island.
Speculation on Obamas visit
But later developed allegations there are also uranium mines in Grasberg Papua. It is suspected that there is uranium in Grasberg from the speculation of Obama’s visit to Indonesia related to the continued investment of Freeport and uranium in Papua.
How important is mining investment in Papua that making former US President Barack Obama came to Indonesia? Similarly, former US vice president Mike Pence also paid visit to the country which is suspected to have associate with the continuation of PT Freeport’s work contract.
Even though Obama, who had lived in Jakarta in 1967-1971, came to Jakarta as a keynote speaker at the International Diaspora Congress held by Dino Pati Djalal, unofficial visits are suspected to be a high-level Freeport broker to Indonesia.
It is known from the experience of Bill Clinton visited Senegal to talk about Cevron. This could happen with the same purposes especially because allegedly a Chinese mining company Zijin Mining Group Company Limited is ready to take over Freeport from the United States.
Zijin Mining Group Company Limited, according to Reuters is a China-based company engaged in exploration, mining, smelting and sales of gold and other metal minerals.
The Company’s main products include gold, copper, lead and zinc, iron, and silver products among others. The gold products mainly include mineral gold, standard gold bars, gold ingots and gold concentrates. The company is also involved in geographic survey business through its subsidiaries.
If it were true than it was logical that Obama would come to Jakarta to discuss the Freeport contract to break the Chinese mining company.
Nevertheless President Jokowi has invited Obama three times. “The First was early 2015,” the president said in a statement issued by Bey Machmudin, Head of Press, Media and Information Bureau of the Presidential Secretariat on Friday (June 30).
He said the 44th President of the United States had also spent time to travel to Bali and Yogyakarta. In addition, Obama also met President Jokowi. Retno Marsudi, Indonesia Foreign Minister said Obama’s arrival to Indonesia was based on Jokowi’s invitation.
Chinas hand in Freeport Indonesia?
Freeport McMoran itself is rumored to have sold its majority stake in Tenke Fungurume bronze mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Molybdenum China worth 2.65 billion US dollars (about Rp35, 35 trillion).
Molybdenum Co., Ltd., as quoted by Jubi from Reuters is a China-based company, mainly engaged in mining, smelting, processing and trading of metals, such as molybdenum, tungsten and copper.
The company runs its business through five segments. The Molybdenum Segment, Tungsten and related products are mainly engaged in mining of molybdenum and tungsten. The copper, gold and related products segment is mainly engaged in copper and gold mining.
Segments Niobium and related products are engaged in the business of niobium manufacturing. The phosphorus segment is involved in the phosphate-making business. The copper and cobalt segments move in the production of copper and cobalt. The company runs its business mainly in China, Australia, Brazil and Congo.
In addition, Aaron Regent’s Barrick Gold, also the right-hand man of Li Khai Shing and Mine at Tenke Fungurume in the Democratic Republic of Congo by Chinese Molybdenum, has also bought Freeport’s share of ownership in Chile.
It is not surprising that on the basis of this allegation it is said that a China consortium will buy the ownership of PT Freeport Indonesia shares. This becomes more and more visible, and should not be taken lightly.
The Prodemocracy Activist Network (Prodem) supports the government’s efforts to nationalize the shares of PT Freeport Indonesia (PT FI), but may not be purchased by a Chinese company.
“The seriousness of the government by changing the Contract of Work system to IUPK (Special Mining License) to PT FI should be supported,” said Satyo P, Secretary General of Prodem, as quoted by Antara.
Why is that so? Because according to him the divestment is still fragile from a case such as ‘Papa asks for shares’ or how China will conduct their bussiness present in PT FI.
The fears of the Pro-Democracy Network if China succeeds to seize Freeport’s shareholding because it is likely China would bring its workers from the country to fill the entire Freeport management structure at all levels, from upper-and lower-level management.
Australia worries on China in PNG
This concern is not only in Jakarta but the Australian government also feels uncomfortable about China’s influence in PNG amid increasing infrastructure investment. ABC News correspondent Eric Tlozek reports from Port Moresby PNG that a Chinese company has built a new Papua New Guinea hydroelectric project.
The $ 260 million Edevu Hydro project is a personal development, but PNG government officials say they are funded by China Development Bank.
This project is one of several major infrastructure developments in PNG funded or built by the Government of China. The PNG project is funded by Chinese loans. “This will be a development for the local economy,” China’s ambassador to PNG, Li Ruiyou, told at the launch.
“This will benefit the local community and this will also be a promotion of cooperation between the two countries.”
Australia’s defense and diplomatic community expressed personal anxiety about China’s growing influence in Papua New Guinea, where the Chinese Government is investing billions in funds for infrastructure and business development.
Is there uranium in Grasberg?
Then what about the United States and Freeport in Grasberg? Is it just a gold mine and not an uranium?
Freeport made a huge profit from mining in Papua. The Chinese economic intelligence apparatus must know that Indonesian mining is a gold mine for Freeport. How Indonesia has contributed 93.6 percent of Freeport gold sales over the years.
Grasberg mining in Papua has contributed 29 billion lbs of copper reserves or 28 percent of Freeport’s total copper reserves of 103.5 billion lbs worldwide. But Papua has donated Au 28.2 million ozs or reached 98.9 percent of Freeport’s worldwide gold reserves of Au 28.5 million ozs.
The mine in Bumi Amungsa Papua is a gold mine for Freeport. These facts have been included in the review and supervision of Zijin Mining Group Company Limited. If the Chinese company, of course also with the approval and support of the Chinese Consortium, is indeed seriously taking the ownership of Freeport Indonesia from the hands of Freeport McMoran United States.
However, is it true that Freeport only conducted the gold mining? Based on the information quoted by Jubi from Aktual.com based on research conducted by a company called Gladians it is said that Jayawijaya Ice Mountaint countain pure pristine invaluable gold.
Regardless the pros and cons of Chinese merchandising and political maps in the Melanesian region, the government of China is building the Office of the nMelanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) in Port Villa. Even Fiji and the Melanesian countries finally recognize one China and release Taiwan from a network of business cooperation.
Not only that PNG will host an APEC meeting on November 2018 and has officially invited Chinese President Xi Jinping including US Presidency Donald Trump.
No wonder the proximity of China with the Melanesian countries make Australia and the United States very worried.(*)