Freeport Indonesia awaits export permit as copper concentrate piles up

6th July 2023

By: Reuters


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JAKARTA - Copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia, a unit of Freeport-McMoran, said on Thursday it has not yet obtained a government permit to continue exporting its materials, risking overcapacity at its storage facilities in the eastern region of Papua.

Indonesia in June banned exports of raw minerals to attract investment into its metals processing industry and boost the value of its exports, but said it would allow several companies including Freeport to continue exporting until mid-2024.

"Without an export permit, it certainly would result in the suspension of Freeport Indonesia activities, which will have a significant impact on the overall operational activities and sales of mining products," said Freeport Indonesia's spokesperson Katri Krisnati.

"As of today, we are still waiting for the export permit to be issued," she said, adding that storage facilities at their site in Papua's Mimika regency were full and that some of the material was being stored outdoors.

Freeport's export permit expired on June 10, when Indonesia began its raw mineral export ban and the company has not made any shipments since, Katri said.

Adding pressure to the stockpile is a routine 75-day maintenance shutdown at their domestic buyer, PT Smelting since May 1.

Indonesia's mining minister Arifin Tasrif has said his office issued an export recommendation for Freeport in June.

Based on the mining ministry's recommendations, it is the trade ministry that issues export permits to companies. Trade ministry officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Edited by Reuters


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