Indonesia's state mining holding company expects to reach an agreement soon on bank financing to buy a controlling stake in the local unit of Freeport McMoran Inc.
Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. Mining News
The world's second-largest copper miner by production also said talks with Indonesia re Grasberg were advancing.
Indonesia state-owned holding Asahan Aluminum, or Inalum, would grab a 41.64% stake in the local unit of Freeport, which increases its current ownership in it to 51%.
After pumping billions into the Indonesian mine for almost 25 years, Rio might be able to see a decent return as the country’s government plans to acquire the miner’s 40% stake in the coveted operation.
Indonesia's military said on Friday it was prepared to take tough measures against rebels who have threatened to "destroy" mining operations of Freeport-McMoRan Inc in the eastern province of Papua in their struggle for independence.
Armed separatists have occupied five villages in Indonesia’s Papua province, threatening to disrupt Freeport-McMoRan Inc’s giant Grasberg copper mine, which has already been hit this year by labor unrest and a dispute over operating rights.
Investors ignore positive third quarter results to focus on lack of meaningful progress in talks with Indonesia over future of giant Grasberg mine.
Freeport agreed in August to divest a 51% stake in Grasberg to local interests in return for full operational control until 2041 plus fiscal and legal guarantees, but a final deal has still to be reached.
The company has greed to reduce its stake in the Grasberg mine to 49% in exchange for licenses to operate the massive copper and gold pit until 2041.
Some issues still need to be resolved before the U.S. miner gets a new operating permit for its huge copper mine.
The indefinite labour action involves 56 unions, which are protesting a government’s proposed reform they see as "anti-workers".
The Indonesian unit is now in the process of obtaining a full export permit.
The news follows the end of a historically long 43-day strike at BHP Billiton’s Escondida, the world's biggest copper mine in neighbouring Chile.
Around 1,300 unionized miners plan to start an indefinite stoppage at Peru's largest copper mine beginning March 24.
China releases scorching industry output growth, fixed investment numbers for January-February. Third attempt to restart talks at giant Chile mine fails.
Disputes at BHP Billiton’s Escondida mine in Chile, the world's biggest copper mine, and Freeport’s Grasberg and Cerro Verde mines, are also having a significant effect on global supplies of concentrate.
The mine produced just under 500,000 tonnes of the red metal last year, making it Peru's largest copper operation.
The firm has not been able to ship copper from the mine in over a month due to a ban on concentrate exports that kicked in on January 12.
Miner says that each month of delay in obtaining approval to export means production would be reduced by 70 million pounds of copper and 70,000 ounces of gold.
Government is considering to extend the miner a temporary permit, valid for up to six months, which would pave the way for Freeport to resume exports from Grasberg.
Far-reaching new mining rules ease a controversial ban on exports of nickel ore and bauxite.
There are some positives.
The company, which is the US biggest miner by market value, is cutting 25% of its workforce to reduce debt.
Freeport McMoRan Inc. is considering selling a minority stake in its portfolio of copper mines, sources familiar with the matter said, one of the options on the table as the company scrambles to slash its $20-billion (U.S.) debt load.
The measure is part of a wider revision of the 2009 mining law that led to Indonesia's export edicts and other regulations.