Tue, 09 Aug 1994

Govt to award 5 working deals on general mining

JAKARTA (JP): The government will award five working contracts for general mining in Irian Jaya, North Sulawesi and South and North Sumatra to foreign joint ventures by the mid of this month, a business leader said.

Beni N. Wahyu, secretary general of the ASEAN Federation of Mining Associations (AFMA), told reporters here yesterday that the contracts will be awarded to PT Ingold Antares, PT Eastern Irja Mining Corp., PT Newcrest Nusa Sulawesi, PT Paragon Perdana Mining and PT Miwah Tambang Emas.

Beni, who is also president of Ingold Antares, said that his company will be awarded a contract for exploration and production of copper and gold in a concession area in Irian Jaya.

Ingold Antares is a joint venture between Ingold Ltd. of Canada and PT Kalirindo Gunung Minerals, he said.

Eastern Irja Mining Corp. -- a joint venture between Eastern Mining Co, PT Setdco Ganesha, PT Bakrie Investindo and PT Freeport Indonesia -- will also get a contract for the exploration and mining of copper and gold in Irian Jaya, Beni said.

He said Newcrest Nusa Sulawesi will search for copper and gold in North Sulawesi. Newcrest Nusa is a joint venture between Newcrest Mining Ltd. of Australia and PT Austindo Nusantara Jaya.

Paragon Perdana Mining, a joint venture between Hong Kong's Paragon Resources Ltd. and PT Keikan Perdana, will search for zeolite in South Sumatra, he said.

He added that Miwah Tambang Emas, a joint venture between Australia's Highlands Gold Pty. Ltd. and PT Marhuama Subur Gunung Minerals, will look for gold in Aceh.

"We have been informed that the contracts will be signed before Indonesia's Independence Day on Aug. 17," Beni said.


In addition to the planned contracts, Beni said that the Ministry of Mines and Energy is now scrutinizing the applications of more than 20 other investors for general mining activities in the country.

Minister of Mines and Energy IB Sudjana told members of the House of Representatives (DPR) recently that Indonesia has thus far signed 127 contracts for general mining since 1967.

"But out of the 127 contracts, 64 have terminated operation due to failure in exploration and various financial problems," he told DPR's Commission VI recently. He added that only 10 contracts were still operating.

Beni said yesterday that one of the major problems faced by investors in mining are the high risks of exploration.

"In addition, mining is a time-consuming business with a slow yield which requires a high level of investment," he said. "Strong financing backing is key to the business," he argued.

Beni, accompanied by AFMA's chairman M. Simatupang, briefed reporters yesterday in conjunction with the federation's plan to hold its 4th Asia-Pacific mining conference and exhibition the Jakarta Hilton Convention Center from Oct. 26 to Oct. 29.

Simatupang said that Sudjana is scheduled to officially open the conference, which is expected to attract 400 participants from foreign countries. (fhp)