Indonesia reaches agreement with Freeport on new mining permit for Grasberg

JAKARTA, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Indonesia's mining minister said on Tuesday that the government has reached an agreement with Freeport-McMoRan Inc to allow the U.S. miner to apply for a permit to keep operating its giant Grasberg copper and gold mine in the country.

Freeport, the world's biggest publicly traded copper company, can apply for an immediate 10-year permit extension to mine at Grasberg beyond 2021, said Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan. Grasberg is the world's second-biggest copper mine. Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport has been in lengthy talks with the Indonesian government over issues such as divestment and building a new smelter to extend its 30-year mining contract, which is due to expire in four years time. (Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)