goodmorningpapua.com – Indonesia is gifted with various and large “treasures” in the field of natural resources and mining. In addition to storing the extremely rare “treasures” or the rare earth elements, Indonesia also has a mountain of gold located in Papua.
This golden mountain is called the Wabu Block, a former mining area of PT Freeport Indonesia which has been given back to the government.
This golden mountain can be a source of its own “treasure” for Indonesia. The reason is, the amount of gold resources in this block is not hoax, reaching 8.1 million ounces.
This was expressed by MIND ID Senior Vice President for Exploration Division Wahyu Sunyoto in October 2020.
When multiplied by the gold price of around US$ 1,900 per troy ounce, the potential value of gold resources in this block reaches around US$ 15.4 billion or around Rp. 221.7 trillion (assuming an exchange rate of Rp. 14,400 per US$).
Wahyu said that this amount of resources is still based on the results of the calculation of resources in 1999 for the categories measured (measured), indicated (predicted) and inferred (suspected).
He further said that the Freeport exploration team had conducted a data collection on the Wabu Block technically, so that each location had his surname. Therefore, he continued, the Wabu Block is ready for the next activity, namely construction.
PT Aneka Tambang Tbk (Antam/ ANTM) also plans to work on the Wabu Block. SOE Minister Erick Thohir has also sent a letter to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif so that Antam can manage the former Freeport Indonesia mining area.
Last week, MIND ID President Director Orias Petrus Moedak said this block had indeed been returned by PT Freeport Indonesia to the state several years ago. However, the process of handing over this management will later go through a process that will be organized by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.
As a flashback, the Wabu Block was returned by PT Freeport Indonesia to the central government in early July 2015 as part of an agreement on an amendment to the contract of work at which time Freeport needed certainty about the extension of mining operations which would end in 2021.
One of the points of contract renegotiation is that the central government asks Freeport Indonesia to reduce the area of its mining operations. At that time, Freeport’s mining area reached 212,950 hectares.
Meanwhile, based on Law No. 4 of 2009 concerning Minerals and Coal, the area of the holder of a Mining Business License for Mineral Production Operation is a maximum of 25,000 hectares. This means that the area of Freeport’s mining operations must also be reduced.
Finally, in early July 2015 Freeport officially returned part of its mining operation area to the Indonesian government to 90,360 hectares. Although it is still above the maximum limit of mining area regulated by the government, the rest is referred to only as a supporting area for mining operations.