20 January 2019

Rizal Ramli: The government must learn from a mistake that happened during Freeport’s contract renewal in the 1980s.

KONFRONTASI-Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli said that the negotiation of new contract for Freeport could be realized two years before the current one expires in 2021.
“There is a reason for that. Indonesia’s bargaining position will be stronger, since Freeport won’t have a choice when the contract expiry is approaching,” Rizal Ramli said at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) on Thursday, October 15.

According to Rizal, the government must learn from a mistake that happened during Freeport’s contract renewal in the 1980s.

“Such a mistake wouldn’t happen if there was no monkey business with the Indonesian officials,” he said.

Rizal suggested that Freeport must fulfill at least three requirements to renew its contract. According to Rizal, the three requirements are willing to a royalty of 7 percent, cleaning waste and accelerating divestment.

“If [Freeport] refused to sign, that would be good. We would enjoy a huge amount of mineral and gold reserves,” Rizal added.

Rizal claimed that the mineral reserves at Freeport mines would boost rupiah’s exchange to Rp 5,000 per US dollar. Rizal revealed that Freeport had enjoyed an annual profit of US$6 billion.

Rizal hopes that the government would think carefully before signing the contract renewal for Freeport.

“If [the contract renewal] was to be approved now, Freeport’s shares would soar, and Indonesia would get nothing. We want a fair and transparent contract for our people,” Rizal said. (Konfron/Tempo)

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