Tag Archives: Freeport Contract of Works

JUBI: Papuans Will Survive without Freeport, says Papua Governor

Freeport mining area in Timika - energytoday.com

Jayapura, Jubi/BenarNews – During his visit the United States this week to attract more investment, President Joko Widodo, his ministers and officials in the field of economy were scheduled to officially meet with executives of US companies.

However, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno L.P. Marsudi denied the president would meet representatives from Freeport, which has an interest in obtaining a contract extension after 2021.
“Rumours in media that the president had a schedule to have breakfast with Freeport are not true,” said Retno was quoted in Solopos.

The US Company that operates the world’s largest gold mine and third largest copper mine in Papua, is enforcing the Indonesian Government to extend their Contract of Work while refer to the Indonesian regulation the extension could be approved two years prior the last contract was terminated. However, before his departure to the US, Jokowi gave a signal to Freeport could obtain the extension after the end of contract, it means in 2019.

No Intention to Develop Papua
In between the crowded debates and controversy about the contract extension for PT. Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) in Mimika, the voices from Papua are rarely heard.

But for Papuans, this issue of contract extension is not only a matter of time. The Papua Governor Lukas Enembe was doubt the intention of PTFI to develop Papua.
“We submitted 17 points of Government’s Proposal consist of 11 points of Papua Government and 6 points of the Central Government in order to renegotiate with Freeport, including the Freeport’s involvement to build infrastructure in Papua, the increment of royalty and tax payment to the Provincial Government, share divestment, environmental issue and prioritizing Papuans to be employees. That’s our priorities,” Enembe told BeritaBenar on 17 October 2015.

He accused Freeport to have no intention to Papua’s development. He took Timika City as an example, that until now the city is lacking of feasible infrastructures. “Freeport has been operating since 1967, but what about Timika and how’s Papuan condition right now? Infrastructures in Timika are still underdeveloped. The number of indigenous Papuan workers in Freeport is not equal with the number of non-Papuan workers. If it continues like this, Freeport is better leaving. Without it, Papuans will still survive,” said the Governor Enembe.

The local authority estimates there are only 30 percent of the company’s employees are Papuans, while the rest are recruited from outside of Papua.

Further Enembe refers to the attitude of PTFI that according to him hindering the water surface tax payment.  Each year, Freeport should pay 360 billion rupiahs for the water surface tax, but the fact is up to now PTFI only paid approximately 1.5 billion for each year.
“Freeport took many advantages of the government’s rotation every five years, and violated the commitment made between the government and Freeport. And the government just ignored this fact. But it is clear, Freeport has to pay 360 billion rupiahs each year,” he said.

The Governor Enembe said the Provincial Government also support the policy taken by the Mimika Regional Government charging PTFI to pay a penalty amounted USD 3.6 billion or Rp 481 trillion to the indigenous tribes living in the surrounded mining area.
“It’s the people’s demand because Freeport has exploited the mountain and its materials since being operated, but never given the in kind benefits to the local community,” said Enembe.

It’s a Political Treaty, Not Business Agreement
Musa Sombuk, Lecturer at Papua State University and doctoral candidate at Australia National Univrsity thought the tax issue, profit sharing, and other issues that endured for years as consequences of PTFI’s contract of work is a “political agreement” rather an economic agreement between the company and the Indonesian Government.
“At first time doing operation, it was clear that Indonesia need a cash. Now, the Freeport’s contract is not transparent, unequal and the profit sharing is not fair. Freeport also did any means in order to gain land ownership,” said Sombuk.

When confirmed by BeritaBenar, PTFI spokesperson Riza Pratama declined to give comments on the renegotiation process with the Central Government, but he denied PTFI did the cunning ways in obtaining the land. He said the customary community at the PTFI mining area has gave their permission and tenure rights since PTFI started their operation for the first time. According to Reza, the company also has paid the penalty and is continuing the development program for indigenous communities at the surrounded the mining area.

Sombuk, who admitted his involvement in the audit of PTFI in 1997, said the company is not only taking the copper and gold, but also the tailing –sand waste containing the iron ore, that could reach 30 billion tons. Several grams of tailings, according to him, could result 1 gram of 23 carat gold. “Now there’s 30 billion tons of tailing and it must be gold-contained. Where will the gold from tailing go?” said Sombuk.
“Just imagine, Freeport should use the dump truck to dispose the tailing, but they just drain it to the Ajikwa River that is bearing the risk and impact to the people’s health and environment,” said Sombuk.

According to Sombuk, PTFI could survive until now because it gained support and facilities from the government, both regional and provincial. The vague regulation and the attitude of both government and company for not being transparent making the law enforcement is risk with the corrupt practice.

“We never know whether the local permits have any cost consequences. If it has, such as the charge on waste draining in Ajikwa River, we don’t know to whom it should pay and how much?” asked Sombuk. (Victor Mambor/rom)

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT HOW MUCH FREEPORT PRODUCES?

JUBI, 22 June, 2011
It is still very difficult for the Mimika district administration to get information about the quantity of gold and copper produced by Freeport-Indonesia and how much is exported via Portsite, Amamapare.
Freeport's Grasberg mine - Earth's biggest hole in the ground

The head  of the mining, energy and minerals department of the Mimika administration, said:

‘We don’t know anything about the quantity of gold, copper and other minerals produced daily by Freeport and this is because  we do not have free access to the company to be able to control the level of production every day.’

He said that the administration did once charge two of its employees to oversee export activity in Amamapare, but after we had given them the task, the two men were unfortunately shifted other posts.’  [Could this have been a deliberate action.]

This is a big problem. Anyone charged with scrutinising exports and imports  would have to be a specialist. They would need to have a special certificate for controlling goods and services for both exports and imports..

All this has an impact on obtaining clarification about the quantity of minerals produced every year. How can this possibly be synchronised with the information received by the authorities in Jakarta? It’s all just a game because the people at the centre get data about gold and copper production which comes directly from the company, PTFI.

The department of mines in Jakarta only gets information from one side. ‘This doesn’t lead to any accuracy. Anyone with bad intentions can easily manipulate the data.  Although lots of stuff is exported, they report a very low figure.’

So the question is: who else but the company can know anything about the quantity of material it produces every year? Only the PTFI.

[COMMENT: This once again highlights the extraordinary powers that the US company has been given to keep a tight control over how much it exploits of Papua’s abundant natural resources, with the  Papuan people not only left in the dark but also left living in poverty while Freeport makes a fortune from its investments in West Papua. TAPOL]

Churches call for revision of contract with Freeport

Bintang Papua, 8 June 2011The Alliance of Churches in the Land of Papua, PGGP, has called on the government to revise the work contract concluded with the mining company, Freeport.

‘The presence of this foreign company in the district of Mimika has not resulted in any improvements in the conditions of the local people,’ said Wiem Maury, secretary of the PGGP. He said that in addition to this,  the very presence of Freeport in the area has always been a very serious problem for the people.

‘The welfare of the people who are the true owners of the rich natural resource continue to be a matter of great concern. Nor is there any guarantee about security in the area either,’ he added..

He said that the call for a revision of the contract was one of 22  recommendations agreed at the Papuan Transformation Conference that took place from 3-5 June this year.

He said that a representative of the government had attended the conference, along with representatives of all the different Christian denominations that are present in both Papua and West Papua.

The purpose of the conference was to try to reach a common perception  between church leaders and the government on the crucial  issues of empowerment of the community, education and spiritual attitudes.

‘The conference also sought to reach a common position between Papuans with regard to the substance of the special autonomy concerning the issue of taking the side of the local communities, their protectiona and empowerment,’ he said.

Another aim was to reach a common approach between the churches and the government , as the centre as well as in the regions.

According to Victor Abraham Abaidata, the secretary of the organising committee of the conference, a decision was taken to set up a team composed of a representative of the government, representatives of all the churches in Papua as well as a representative of the church at the national level.

‘We have already presented the 22 recommendations to the provincial governments and will soon present them to the central governmentl,’ he said.