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Indonesia seeks higher royalty from U.S.mining firm

(Xinhua)

08:44, January 17, 2012

JAKARTA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The government would seek a 3- percent royalty from gold exploited by U.S.-based gold and copper mining firm Freeport McMoran in Indonesia's Papua, a senior Indonesian official said Monday.

Energy and Natural Resources Deputy Minister Widjajono Partowidagdo said that a legal basis to back the government's claim for higher royalties from Freeport is being drafted at the moment.

"We expect that the legal basis would be completed in the near future so as to make the negotiation with Freeport settled as soon as possible," Widjajono said on the sidelines of a hearing session with lawmakers here.

He said that on the legal basis endorsed by the president, the government would ask Freeport to raise the royalty of gold it exploited from Papua from the present 1 percent to 3 percent.

He said that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has set up a team, led by Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Radjasa, to re-negotiate the Freeport's mineral exploitation contract signed during the administration of former President Suharto.

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