Wednesday, May 29, 2024

House member pushes Freeport for solutions ahead of smelter deadline

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Gusty da Costa

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A member of the House of Representatives, Nasril Bahar from the National Mandate Party, said that the law on minerals and coal regulated that smelter construction be completed in 2023.

Pursuant to the law, Nasir demanded Freeport provide a solution concerning the unfinished construction of the company’s smelter ahead of the deadline.

“Do not throw the problem to the House of Representatives. We have a moral responsibility,” Nasir said.

Nasir requested Freeport not to force the President to issue a government regulation in lieu of law to deregulate the mineral and coal law just because the company cannot complete the smelter on time.

“Freeport is playing around with the mineral and coal law,” Nasir added.

Before the House of Representatives amended the law on mineral and coal law, Freeport had never carried out its obligation to build a smelter.

After the House of Representatives amended the mineral and coal law, Freeport must strive to meet its commitment to build a smelter.

“We do not wish for the President’s policy to protect Freeport, ” Nasir added.

Freeport responds

PT Freeport Indonesia is gearing up to complete the construction of a copper smelter in Gresik, East Java, ahead of the government’s plan to ban the export of copper ores and concentrate in June 2023.

Chief Executive Officer of PT Freeport Indonesia Tony Wenas said that the company had secured a commitment from the chairman of Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation.

In addition, Tony said that Chiyoda will deploy all its workforce and energy to help accelerate the smelter project.

“We hope that completion of the smelter can be sped up and we can conduct the commissioning by the end of this year,” said Wenas in a hearing with the House of Representatives on March 27, 2023.

Based on the latest data, Tony said that the progress of the smelter construction had reached 56.5% by February 2023, and is expected to achieve 92% by the end of this year.

Furthermore, Wenas added that Freeport believed that the physical structure or the smelter building will be completed by the end of this year.

However, Wenas said Freeport Indonesia would obey the mineral and coal law and the stipulation regulated in its special mining permit (IUPK).

The company continues to discuss energy and mineral resources to see a solution for the sustainability of Freeport’s and other companies’ exports.

Gusty da Costa

Journalist

 

Editor

 

Interview

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