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自由港、印尼争端升级 印尼矿业前景堪忧

SMM3月20日讯:印尼正试图施加规则以迫使自由港麦克墨伦放弃对旗下Grasberg矿的控制权。

自由港麦克墨伦与印尼政府在Grasberg铜金矿之间的对立局面进入了一个新阶段,因为该公司缩减业务,同时试图强制解决罢工争端。

上个月,美国矿商威胁要对印尼采取仲裁,指出印尼对矿商在1月施加的新规违反了1991年到2021年的经营协议条款。

新规是印尼政府从矿业获取更多收入的广泛努力的一部分。根据这些规则,自由港被禁止出口未精炼的铜,直到它同意新的经营权,并最终迫使它放弃对印尼这个世界第二大铜矿Grasberg的控制权。

由于双方争执不下,自由港麦克莫伦降低对Grasberg矿的产量目标,搁置投资计划,并开始裁员。

目前似乎已到了两方摊牌的关键时刻。长期的对峙令自由港面临财务冲击,因其约有三分之一的铜产量来自印尼。该矿正在将其业务调整到其正常产能的40%。

专家警告说,印尼政府为获得更大控制权的要求可能进一步减少其资源行业的投资,并为此造成每年数亿美元的损失。这一争端也可能削弱印尼总统Joko Widodo发起的吸引外国投资其国内基础设施的政策效果。在与Grasberg铜矿的纷争中已经促使全球铜价上涨,如果矛盾继续升级,可能给铜价造成更大的上涨压力。

自由港CEO Richard Adkerson表示:“在目前的争端中,我们要么双赢,要么双输。“不幸的是,我们现在正走在双输的道路上”。

作为推动从矿业部门获得更多收益的考量,印尼禁止原矿出口,并于2014年对精矿出口实行限制,以推动国内冶炼厂的投资热情。

现在,印尼官员表示,Grasberg矿的经营协议需要更新,以反映该国法律环境的变化。印尼主张对外国投资进行更多的控制,目的是以更公平的方式重新分配经济利益,这是独裁者Suharto倒台后开始的一项尝试。

自由港开始启动仲裁程序,并指出如果不能在6月中旬与雅加达达成协议,将要求赔偿。

印尼海事事务部负责能源和矿产资源部的协调部长Luhut Pandjaitan表示:“没有人想要硬碰硬。“但是,我们也认为,50年后,我们还必须为印尼的人民考虑。”自从上个世纪60年代以来,自由港就开始在印尼经营。

在3月7日发表的声明中,该部表示支持外国投资者在国内的投资,并尊重现有协议。它指出,剥离业务的目的是“促进”矿业公司与政府合作,并为印尼人民作为该国资源财富的“绝对”所有者谋求“正义”。

坐落于新几内亚西部岛屿一座山顶上的Grasberg矿一直是印尼和自由港的意外惊喜。该公司在Grasberg的成功使自由港成为世界上最大的上市铜企,也是印尼最大的纳税人。

印尼要求自由港同意出售足够的股份,以便该公司只能拥有印尼少量的股权,以此作为允许自由港恢复铜精矿出口新规的一部分。自由港目前拥有90.64%的股份,已经同意出售最多30%的股份。新规还要求自由港在2022年之前建造一家新的冶炼厂,并缴纳更高的税款。

印尼当局已表示愿意对自由港撤资的条款和时限保持灵活性。可以在几年内分阶段进行,Pandjaitan先生表示。

自由港表示,这些规则违反了其经营合同,它不会轻易放弃对这个投资了120亿美元的矿山的权利。

自由港继续坚守,而其他矿商已离开印尼。去年,Newmont矿业和必和必拓将其在印尼公司的股份出售给了当地公司,并退出了该国市场,因为监管新规令其不堪重负。

由于出口受到限制,矿业收入在印尼经济增长中的份额下降。经济风险的提升令矿商投资更加谨慎,,也引起了市场对印尼矿业前景的担忧。

“此类事件越来越多,且印尼政府与自由港的争端带来的政治风险越大,进入印尼矿业的新的投资就越少。”一个监测全球能源部门的非营利组织--国家资源管理研究所高级分析师David Manley表示。(上海有色网 许辉翻译)

 

附原文:

Freeport threatens action over copper mine dispute

Indonesia is trying to impose rules that would eventually force Freeport McMoRan to cede control of its Grasberg mine.

Freeport-McMoRan’s standoff with Indonesia over the giant Grasberg copper and gold mine is entering a new phase, as the company scales back operations while trying to force a resolution to the dispute.

Last month, the US miner threatened to take Indonesia to arbitration, saying new rules the country imposed on miners in January violated the terms of an operating agreement struck in 1991 that runs to 2021.

The rules are part of a broad ­effort to gather more revenue from the mining sector. Under the rules, Freeport is banned from ­exporting a form of unrefined copper until it agrees to new operating rights that would eventually force it to cede control of Grasberg, the second-largest copper mine in the world, to Indonesian entities.

With the two sides at loggerheads, the miner lowered its output target for Grasberg, shelved investment plans and began laying off workers.

The showdown has reached a critical juncture. A prolonged standoff would be a financial blow to Freeport, which derives about one-third of its copper output from Indonesia. The mine is re­adjusting its operations to 40 per cent of its normal capacity.

Indonesia stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in annual payments, and its demands for greater control could further imperil already dwindling investment in its resources sector, experts warned. The dispute also could undercut Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s campaign to attract foreign investment for infrastructure in a nation stretched across 18,000 islands. The wrangling over Grasberg has already contributed to a rise in global copper prices, which could experience even more upward pressure if the conflict drags on.

“In this current controversy … we’re either going to all win, or we’re all going to lose,” said Freeport chief executive Richard Adkerson. “And unfortunately we’re on a path right now of where we’re all potentially going to lose.”

As part of its push to earn more from the mining sector, Indonesia banned ore exports and placed restrictions on exports of mineral concentrates in 2014 to push companies to invest in domestic smelting.

Now, Indonesian officials say the operating agreement for Grasberg needs to be updated to reflect changes in the country’s legal landscape. Indonesia has ­asserted more control over foreign investment with the aim of redistributing economic benefits in a more equitable manner, an ­effort that began after the fall of dictator Suharto.

Freeport has set a deadline of mid-June to start arbitration proceedings and seek damages if it can’t come to a deal with Jakarta. Indonesian is standing firm.

“Nobody wants to play hardball,’’ said Luhut Pandjaitan, Co-ordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, which oversees the min­istry of energy and mineral resources. “But of course we also feel that after 50 years we also have to consider the people of Indonesia.” Freeport has operated in Indonesia since the 1960s.

In a statement on March 7, the ministry said it supported foreign and domestic investment and respected existing agreements. It said the divestment obligation was meant to “facilitate” mining companies to join with the government and “bring justice” for the people of Indonesia as the ­“absolute” owners of the country’s resource wealth.

Sitting atop a mountain in western New Guinea island, Grasberg has been a windfall for Indonesia and Freeport. The company’s success at Grasberg ­allowed Freeport to grow to become the world’s largest publicly listed copper miner — and Indonesia’s largest taxpayer.

Indonesia is requiring that Freeport agree to divest enough shares so that the company has only a minority stake in its Indonesian unit as part of new rules that will allow Freeport to resume the export of copper concentrates. Freeport currently has a 90.64 per cent stake and has agreed to divest up to 30 per cent. The new rules would also require Freeport to build a new smelter by 2022 and pay higher taxes.

Indonesian officials have signalled some willingness to be flexible about the terms and timing of the divestment. It can be done in stages over several years, Mr Pandjaitan said.

Freeport said the rules violated its operating contract and it would not give up its rights to a mine in which it has invested $US12 billion.

Freeport is holding on while other miners have left Indonesia. Last year, Newmont Mining and BHP Billiton sold off interests in their Indonesian units to local firms and exited the country, citing heavier regulation as a factor.

Mining revenue as a share of economic growth in Indonesia has dropped since exports were restricted. Companies now are more wary of investing in countries where the risks are perceived to be high amid economic uncertainty. That has raised concerns about the prospects for Indonesia’s mining industry.

“The more these sort of stories come about and the more political risk is created from arguments with Freeport, the less new investment will come in,” said David Manley, a senior analyst at the National Resource Governance Institute, a not-for-profit that monitors global energy sectors.

*上海有色(SMM)原创新闻,转载请保留原文链接:https://news.smm.cn/news/100728489
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