JAKARTA (rambuenergy) – PT Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US giant copper and gold company Freeport McMoran, has announced that Maroef Sjamsoeddin has resigned as President Director of PT Freeport Indonesia. Freeport Indonesia has accepted his resignation.
His resignation came as Freeport Indonesia is seeking to extend its contract to develop underground mining in Grasberg mining site for another 20 years from 2021. Freeport is also in the process of divesting additional 10.64 percent of Freeport shares to the Indonesian government for US$1.7 billion.
Freeport stated on the letter to the government, valuation of 100 percent shares of Freeport was US$16.2 billion. Based on the Mining Law, Freeport has an obligation to divest 30 percent its unit shares until 2019.
Currently, Freeport owned 90.63 percent in FI and 9.36 percent owned by Indonesia. It is not clear yet whether his resignation is related with recent events. However, Freeport said Maroef Sjamsoeddin resigned for “personal reasons”.
Freeport said in the interim, Robert Schroeder, currently Director and Executive VP, will assume Maroef’s management responsibilities. All officers who had previously reported to the President Director will now report to Robert Schroeder.
Maroef Sjamsoeddin, former deputy head of State Intelligence Agency (BIN), has served as President Director of PT Freeport Indonesia over the past year and has been an advocate for Freeport in representing the company with the government of Indonesia, government authorities, the community in Papua and Freeport Workers.
Certain quarters of the public could speculate that his resignation could be a result of recent Freeport saga, which resulted in the resignation of the Speaker of the House of Representative Setya Novanto. Novanto was tried to broker Freeport Indonesia and the government of Indonesia in order to extend Freeport’s contract in developing the Grasberg mining site. His move caused public outcry, prompting the House Ethical Code to conduct internal ‘trial’, which led to the resignation of Novanto as Speaker of the House.
Freeport Indonesia currently operates Grasberg mining site, the largest gold mine and third-largest copper mine in the world. The company holds a CoW due to expire in 2021, from the Indonesian government. Freeport is lobbying the government to secure certainty that it will obtain a contract extension.
“We have challenging times in the global commodity markets. We continue to work cooperatively with the government to ensure our ability to continue exporting copper concentrate so that PTFI can sustain in its current operation in Papua, to amend our Contract of Work so that we can extend our operations beyond 2021, and to develop new smelter capacity consistent with our commitment to the government of Indonesia,” Freeport said in a statement.
“As we work to address the current challenges, we are positive about the long-term future for our business in Indonesia. The Grasberg mineral district represents one of the great assets in the global mining industry,” the company said.(*)