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Indonesia: Protesters demand for nationalisation of Freeport-McMoran Grasberg mine; operations down to 40% capacity

Author: Jon Emont, New York Times, Published on: 3 April 2017

"Foreigners Have Long Mined Indonesia, but Now There's an Outcry", 31 March 2017

...Scores of protesters gathered outside the Jakarta offices of an American mining giant...chanting, waving signs and throwing uncertainty into global commodities markets.

The traditional garb was meant to make it clear whom they represented: the people of West Papua, site of Freeport-McMoran's Grasberg mine-- one of the world's largest sources of gold and copper.  Their shouted slogans made it equally clear what they wanted.

"Freeport must be shut down!" the crowd chanted...

“Freeport hasn’t brought prosperity. It’s just destroyed the natural environment,” said Surya Anta, national coordinator for the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua...

Billions of dollars' worth of metal is produced at the mighty Grasberg mine, which provides jobs in a province with few other prospects...

...The government has in recent years passed regulations intended to exert greater control over mine operators.  Freeport says those requirements violate the company's 1991 contract, which lasts until 2021 and which it wants to renew.

...Until the dispute is resolved, the Grasberg mine will run at about 40 percent capacity; without a licensing deal, the Indonesian government will not allow Freeport to export unprocessed minerals...

“It is in the best interests of all stakeholders to receive a resolution in these matters,” Richard Adkerson, the chief executive of Freeport, said in a written statement to The New York Times...

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Related companies: Newmont Goldcorp Rio Tinto