May 8, 2018 / 3:03 AM / a year ago

Freeport Indonesia to remain Grasberg mine operator as deal gets "closer" -Inalum

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, May 8 (Reuters) - The Indonesian unit of Freeport McMoran Inc would remain the operator of the Grasberg copper mine in Papua after a deal is reached to a divest a controlling stake, the head of state mining holding company PT Inalum said on Tuesday.

Inalum, which is due to arrange the funding for the deal, already had a "committed" loan for the overall transaction with Freeport and Rio Tinto for the majority stake in Grasberg, Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a briefing on the sidelines of the Coaltrans Asia conference in Bali.

Commenting on the timing of a deal, he said that "as far as when it happens, please pray for us, but we're getting closer and closer." (Reporting by Fergus Jensen; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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