Freeport, Indonesia work out initial Grasberg exports deal

Grasberg is responsible for more than 25% of Freeport’s output. (Image: NASA.)

Freeport McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), the world’s largest listed copper miner, has received an initial authorization to restart shipments of concentrate from its Grasberg mine in Indonesia.

Freeport Indonesia is said to be in the process of obtaining a full export permit.

The firm’s local unit, which has not been able to ship copper from the mine since a government ban kicked in on January 12, is now in the process of obtaining a full export permit, a spokesman for Freeport Indonesia told Reuters Tuesday.

Production of the red metal at the giant copper-gold mine partially resumed last month, while the Phoenix-Arizona-based company held talks with the Asian nation over a new operating licence, ownership agreements and the harmful concentrate export ban that has remained in place since the beginning of the year.

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

In 2016, the iconic mine produced more than 500,000 tonnes of copper and over 1 million ounces of gold.