The Price of the Freeport deal

The Price of the Freeport deal

JAKARTA (Reuters) – For many Indonesians, investment banker-turned-minister Ignasius Jonan is the man who made trains run on time.

Months after being handed the mining portfolio, the minister notched up a bigger victory; securing majority local ownership of Grasberg – one of the world’s biggest gold and copper mines – following months of difficult negotiations with U.S. giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

Foreign control of mines has been sore point for many Indonesians, who view it as a legacy of an authoritarian past when a ruling elite cut sweetheart deals to carve up precious resources.

The framework agreement with Freeport on […]