Freeport may resume copper exports from Indonesia in ‘a day or two’ — authorities

Shares in Freeport McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), the world's largest listed copper miner, were down on Monday despite reports indicating that Indonesia may issue a temporary permit valid for up to six months to the company's local unit, which could pave the way for the mining giant to resume exports of concentrate from its Grasberg mine in Papua.

The temporary permit, valid for up to six months, would pave the way for Freeport to resume exports of copper concentrate from its Grasberg mine in Papua.

The temporary authorization could be issued "in one or two days", Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said according to Reuters. Such permit is being considered to avoid a stoppage to Freeport's exports while it completes the requirements for a new special mining licence, he noted.

Indonesia’s fresh ban on concentrate exports kicked in on January 12 as part of the South East Asian nation's comprehensive change to mining regulations and ownership rules.

Some of the freshly introduced legislation require Freeport to obtain new mining rights before being allowed to resume exports.

The Grasberg mining complex in the remote Papua region of Indonesia is responsible for more than a quarter of Freeport's total output. Before the current troubles, it was set contribute an even greater proportion in 2017 as copper grades improve and gold production is boosted.

But in light of the export ban the company has said it may have to suspend planned spending of around $1 billion per year through 2021 to transition the mine to underground operations.

Last year, the iconic mine produced more than 500,000 tonnes of copper and over 1 million ounces of gold.

Shares in the company were down 1.9% to $16.06 in New York at 11:27AM local time.