Indonesia asks Freeport to submit forest permit

JAKARTA, Feb 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Indonesia’s forestry ministry
has asked Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc (FCX.N: ) to submit
a request to use land in a protected forest area, a ministry
official said on Tuesday.

In 2004, Indonesia allowed 13 mining firms, including
Freeport, to continue mining operations in Indonesia after the
introduction of a law in 1999 which banned open-pit mining in
forested areas.

“We have sent a notice letter to Freeport about the rule
that they have to submit a request because their operation is
located in a protected area,” said Masyhud, forestry ministry
spokesman.

He said the ministry had not discussed stopping operations
as that was under the authority of the mines and energy
ministry.

Freeport officials could not be reached for comment.

Freeport owns 90.64 percent of PT Freeport Indonesia, which
operates the huge Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua
province, while the Indonesian government owns the remainder.

Grasberg, which has the world’s largest recoverable
reserves of copper and the largest gold reserve, accounts for
nearly 40 percent of Freeport’s total copper reserves of 93
billion pounds, according to the firm’s website.

M.S. Marpaung, director of technical and environment at the
mines ministry, told Reuters via telephone text message that
Freeport was currently processing the permit.

Earlier this month, Indonesian police temporarily shut the
Jorong coal mine in Kalimantan operated by a unit of Thailand’s
top coal miner Banpu PCL (BANP.BK: ) over a land permiting
problem.

Banpu said the closure would only have a slight impact on
production at its Indonesian unit Indo Tambangraya Mega Tbk
(ITMG.JK: ).

Penny Stocks

(Reporting by Muklis Ali; Editing by Sara Webb)

Indonesia asks Freeport to submit forest permit