JAKARTA, July 4 (Reuters) – Indonesia has extended a temporary operating permit for Freeport McMoRan Inc’s Grasberg project, the world’s second-biggest copper mine, until the end of the month while discussions continue over long-term rights.
Freeport’s local unit, PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), has been given a temporary operating permit for Grasberg until July 31, Coal and Minerals Director General Bambang Gatot Ariyono told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday.
Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport has been in negotiations with Indonesia to secure long-term operating rights at Grasberg after the government introduced new rules last year aimed at giving Jakarta greater control over the nation’s resources.
Efforts to finalise a deal have been overshadowed by concerns over the environmental impact of the project in the eastern Indonesian province of Papua.
“This month we hope all of the aspects – the divestment transaction, investment stability guarantees, the environment, a smelter – all of them are resolved,” Ariyono said. Freeport’s previous temporary operating permit for Grasberg expired on June 30 after being awarded in January.