Indonesia: Local tribes want to be involved in Freeport contract renegotiations

Date of publication: 
12 July 2013

The Custom Institute of Amungme Tribe (Lemasa) in Papua has called on the central government to involve customary communities in the renegotiation process for the PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) contract extension.

“After tens of years of Freeport mining our natural resources, there is no single point in the current contract that manages the basic rights of the indigenous people, especially the Amungme and Kamoro tribes,” Lemasa director executive Anton Alomang said, as reported by Antara news agency on Thursday.

Anton said Freeport started paying attention to the Amungme and Kamoro tribes in 1996 through an empowerment program managed by the Amungme and Kamoro Community Development Institute (LPMAK).

“[From 1996] until last year, the LPMAK managed the partnership fund totaling Rp 340 billion (US$34 billion) per year. Funds could increase to Rp 700 billion this year after negotiating with James Moffet [the Chairman of Freeport Indonesia’s parent company, Freeport McMoran] in Singapore,” Anton said.

However, he said, the funds were not enough to boost the prosperity of the Amungme and Kamoro people.

“The Amungme and Kamoro people still live in poverty. So the government and Freeport should consider giving more [funds] to them in the new contract,” Anton went on.

Discussions on the contract extension between the central government and the Freeport Indonesia focus on six main issues: total area of Freeport, contract extension, state revenue including royalty, smelting facilities construction, divestment obligation and the use of local (in-country) goods and services for mining activities.