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25 July 2014


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This is certainly one reason...

JAKARTA, Indonesia—Indonesia has cut a deal with Freeport McMoRan Inc. on export taxes and royalties, allowing the U.S. mining giant to resume copper-concentrate exports after a six-month stalemate.

The Phoenix-based company, one of the world's biggest copper producers, mines almost a fifth of its copper in Indonesia and controls Grasberg, the country's largest mine. Indonesia is a major producer of copper, tin and bauxite, and ranks as the world's fourth largest exporter of copper, an essential modern metal used to make pipes and wires.

Freeport McMoRan's Grasberg complex in Indonesia is one of the world's biggest copper mines. The U.S. company has cut a deal with the government that will allow Freeport to resume copper exports.

Under the deal announced Friday, Freeport's Indonesia unit will pay higher royalties, help build a smelter and begin paying taxes on copper-concentrate exports, the government said. Copper concentrate, which looks like heavy sand, is what is generated after the rock is mined, crushed and milled. It is easy to ship and is the main raw material for copper smelters.

Freeport also agreed to "provisions" to increase the stake in the local unit held by the Indonesian government and nationals to 30% from the current 9.36%. Freeport currently controls a 90.64% stake.

One readily saw Abbott's concern for our Pacific neighbours when he spent a whole 45 minutes talking to the Indonesia government on his recent visit.

My big question is and always has been: why doesn't anyone stand up for the human rights of our West Papuan neighbours.

One can be thankful that Abbott's slight to Pacific leaders didn't extend to sending Scott Morrison as his representative. However, it wouldn't have surprised me.

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