Wednesday, May 29, 2024

House of Representatives member request Freeport to remove Tony Wenas from CEO position

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Gusty da Costa


Mahinda Arkyasa



A member of the House of Representatives requested PT Freeport Indonesia to remove the company’s current  Chief Executive Officer Tony Wenas from his position after the company failed to show commitment to meet the deadline for smelter construction.

Muhammad Nasir from Democrat Party said that a member of Commission VII of the House of Representatives requested Freeport Indonesia to fire the previous CEO Chappy Hakim because he could not keep his word on building a copper smelter. Consequently, he requested Freeport to also fire current CEO Tony Wenas.

 “We asked for an explanation, but it is unclear and unfinished until now,” said Nasir in a parliamentary hearing on March,27,2023.

Government bans exports of raw minerals

Previously, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced the ban on raw mineral exports on January 10, 2023.

Currently, the government already banned the export of nickel, which will be followed by bauxite and then copper later on June 2023. The government plans to impose sanctions if the company fails to comply with the requirement.

Smelter’s tall tales

Freeport Indonesia is developing a smelter that can turn copper concentrate into cathodes with an annual capacity of 1.7 million tons.

The smelter construction will cost about US$3 billion, which will be funded from a loan and the company’s equity.

Nasir said that members of the House of Representatives have been discussing Freeport for a long time. However, Freeport never finished the construction of the copper smelter.

“It is all a lie, and it is all a fairy tale,” Nasir added.

Freeport always exempted

Nasir further added that President Jokowi’s Nawa Cita program is weird. The program discriminates against other mining companies because there is always an exception for Freeport mining.

“It is a violation of the regulation that the state has agreed to,” Nasir argued.

For example, Nasir explained further, the government bans mining companies from exporting raw minerals, but not Freeport.

In another issue, the government revoked other companies’ expired permits but decided to extend Freeport’s permit.

“Suddenly we purchased 51% of Freeport shares. At the same time, it is we who own the mining. It is all lie,” Nasir said.

To address the above issues, Nasir had requested the establishment of a working committee on Freeport to discuss all problems related to Freeport.

“We have PT Antam. Antam can take over Freeport,” Nasir said.

Gusty da Costa


Mahinda Arkyasa




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