Newmont's Indonesian copper exports to restart

Newmont ships first copper from Indonesia in eight months

Aerial view of the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine.

Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) were barred from exporting copper and gold concentrate from its operations in Indonesia in September, but the company is now free to resume exports again.

The export licence forDenver-based  Newmont's local unit, PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara, was suspended because the company failed to meet government stipulations for developing a domestic smelter, but according to a report in the Jakarta Post a licence will be granted for six months following commitments from Newmont to partner with Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), to build a facility.

Newmont Nusa Tenggara has made "an early commitment of US$3 million to support the smelter development” according to the Asian nation's mines minister.  The smelter being built by Freeport in East Java is expected to cost $2.3 billion.

Exports from the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine in Sumbawa Island and from Freeport's Grasberg mine in Papua province were halted for nearly nine months last year when a new rule took effect banning the export of unrefined minerals and punitive export taxes were levied.

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.

Grasberg's production in 2014 was 293,000 tonnes of copper and more than million ounces of gold, but Freeport recently said it expects lower output this year due to the negative effects of the El Nino weather pattern.

Arizona-based Freeport is currently negotiating a requirement by the Indonesian government to divest 10.6% of its local unit. This, as part of a process of extending the mining contract for Grasberg mine beyond 2021.