JAYAPURA CITY - Papua Governor Lukas Enembe and a team from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and other relevant ministries will conduct a survey of potential locations for the construction of miner PT Freeport Indonesia’s smelter in Papua.
“A team from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and other relevant ministries will conduct a field survey on Friday to look for a suitable location for the smelter’s construction, but the most important [thing] is that the smelter has to be built in Papua,” Antara news agency quoted Lukas saying Thursday in Biak, West Papua.
The Governor stressed it was in Papua's interest to have the smelter constructed in the province, as it would generate more job opportunities and would boost the economy in the province, including tax revenue for the government.
He added that the provincial government had identified two locations for the smelter; one in Biak Numfor regency, Papua and one in Bintuni regency,West Papua.
After suspending its cooperation with state-owned PT Aneka Tambang and Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT), Freeport decided to establish the smelter in Pasuruan, East Java. The smelter’s establishment is obligatory, as the government no longer allows miners to export mineral concentrates overseas in an effort to create added-value for the country.
With political pressure from the Papuan provincial government and citizens, the House of Representatives recently lobbied the government to demand Freeport abandon the plan in East Java and recommit to establishing the smelter in Papua. [TheJakartaPost]