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Indonesian ministry recommends renewing Freeport export permit

August 10, 2016

Tue Aug 9, 2016 10:11am EDT

Indonesian ministry recommends renewing Freeport export permit


Indonesia’s mining ministry recommended on Tuesday that Freeport-McMoran Inc’s Indonesian unit be granted a new permit to export copper concentrates until Jan. 11, 2017, an official said.

The recommended extension was slightly shorter than the six months the U.S. mining giant had requested.

Bambang Gatot, the ministry’s director general of coal and minerals, did not explain why the recommendation was for a shorter period.

"The export volume (in the recommendation) is 1.4 million tonnes, as they requested .. but they might not be able to sell that much," Gatot told reporters, adding that all shipments are subject to a 5 percent export tax.

A Freeport spokesman said he had not yet been informed of the ministry’s recommendation.

Freeport, which produces about 220,000 tonnes of copper ore a day, still has to take the recommendation to Indonesia’s trade ministry to get the permit.

Typically once the trade ministry receives a recommendation from the mining ministry, the renewal of an export permit would be a formality.

Freeport’s previous permit expired on Monday.

Last February, shipments from Freeport’s giant Grasberg copper mine were halted for nearly two weeks before the government approved the now expired permit.

The Indonesian government announced in early 2014 that all copper concentrate shipments would be banned from January 2017, as part of efforts to transform the nation from being a supplier of raw materials into a producer of finished goods.

(Writing by Randy Fabi and Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Richard Pullin, Christian Schmollinger and Adrian Croft)

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