Indonesian mining dispute: American mining giant Freeport McMoRan’s US$17.2 billion project to convert the high-altitude Grasberg open pit into the world’s biggest underground mine will be in jeopardy if a solution isn’t found to the current stand-off with the Indonesian government. John McBeth reports that Freeport McMoRan has shut production, fired workers and threatened international arbitration in a high stakes spat with the government that could cost US$15 million a day in lost revenues.
China manufacturing rise: Factory output in the PRC has surged after January’s Lunar New Year holiday writes Steve Wang . The February Purchasing Managers’ Index report, released today by the National Bureau of Statistics, shows close to a 30-month high. The rise has been propelled by infrastructure investments with large, probably state-owned, industrial producers seeing the biggest gains.
Iran’s Palestine conference: The Iranian Parliament just hosted its annual conference on Palestine and, among the dignitaries and the 700 foreign guests from more than 50 countries, was Asia Times columnist Pepe Escobar. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei also attended, saying the conference could become “a model for all Muslims and regional nations to gradually harness their differences by relying on their common points”.
Tata and Docomo: The long running dispute over Japan’s NTT Docomo efforts to leave a teleservices joint venture with India’s largest conglomerate have moved closer to resolution, writes the Asia Times. Both companies have agreed to follow a verdict delviered by the London Court of International Arbitration in June 2016 although Reserve Bank of India rules need to be negotiated first.