Foreign miners in Southeast Asia's largest economy must prove their businesses are advantageous to the country, warned Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, as her government faces allegations of resource nationalism.
"This is supposed to be mutually beneficial ...You need to be able to explain to the people of Indonesia what the value of (your) investment is," Indrawati told CNBC on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank's 50th annual meeting in Yokohama.
Her comments amid a heated dispute between Indonesian President Joko Widodo's administration and miner Freeport-McMoRan, who operates one of the world's largest gold and copper mines in the Indonesian province of Papua.
A change in Indonesian mining rules in January led to a standstill in Freeport's copper concentrate exports. In order to comply with the new regulations, miners in Indonesia must now obtain a special contract — a rule that Freeport says violates its existing contract.
The company has threatened arbitration but Indonesia's mining minister said on Thursday that both parties are close to reaching a deal that would allow Freeport to resume exports, Reuters reported.
"We are communicating directly with Freeport ... It's a normal negotiating process in which both parties have good intentions of maintaining mutually beneficial relationships," Indrawati said. "We want to say to all investors in Indonesia that if you have agreed to enter negotiations, we will enter with goodwill."