Indonesia puts 500,000 tonnes copper concentrate in doubt

Newmont ships first copper from Indonesia in eight months

Aerial view of the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine.

Last year Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) were barred from exporting copper and gold concentrate from its operations in Indonesia for a full nine months.

Like its US peer Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), Newmont's local unit, PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara, had to ceased shipments when a new rule took effect banning the export of unrefined minerals and punitive export taxes were levied.

Exports from the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine in Sumbawa Island and from Freeport's Grasberg mine in Papua province resumed about a year ago.

But now Reuters reports Newmont's Indonesian copper export permit, which expired on Tuesday, will not be renewed because the company failed to meet government stipulations for developing a domestic smelter, government officials said.

Chief Executive Gary Goldberg said on Tuesday Newmont is in talks with the Indonesian government and he said he expected it would take "a couple of weeks" to sort out," according to the report:

"In the meantime we continue to operate at full capacity. The last export shipment was earlier today," Goldberg said in an interview at an industry conference in Denver.

Newmont, the country's number two exporter behind Freeport, is forecast by the Indonesian government to produce 500,000 tonnes of copper and gold concentrate in 2015.