Freeport Indonesia to offer 5 pct stake to public, in smelter talks-officials

JAKARTA, July 26 Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:02am EDT

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JAKARTA, July 26 (Reuters) - Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc's Indonesian subsidiary will offer a 5 percent stake to the public and is in talks with three local smelters on copper concentrate supply deals, company and government officials said on Friday.

The moves could help pave the way for a deal in long-running contract talks with the Indonesian government, which is pushing miners, including the Freeport unit, to add more value within the country.

The government has asked all miners to submit plans to build refineries or smelters ahead of a January 2014 ban on raw mineral exports.

"The renegotiation talks are still ongoing," Industry Minister Mohamad S. Hidayat told reporters. Freeport runs the world's second-biggest copper mine, Grasberg, in west Papua province.

Arizona-based Freeport is the majority shareholder in the Indonesian unit, with the Indonesian government its only other shareholder with a 9.36 percent stake.

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