27 Jun 2005

Indonesia's Papua looks at getting stake in Freeport mine

7:20 pm on 27 June 2005

The Indonesian Vice President has suggested that the Papua provincial administration seek financing to help it secure a stake in the huge Freeport mine.

The Jakarta Post reports that Jusuf Kalla has proposed that Freeport could sell some of its shares to the local administration which could then explore various financing schemes.

At present multi-national Freeport-McMoran controls an 81 percent stake in the company with the remainder split between the national government and a local investment firm, PT Indocopper.

Indocopper is controlled by Freeport-McMoran, but the provincial administration plans to acquire its stake.

However, the administration is facing difficulties in raising funds to finance the acquisition, which is estimated to be worth around US$700 million.

Papua Governor Jaap Solossa said in February that his administration had been conducting a selection process involving six investors that were said to be keen on forming a joint-venture company to secure the stake.

However, the outcome of this process still remains unclear.