Fresh threats for Freeport’s Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia

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Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold (NYSE: FCX) said production at its Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia may be severely affected by a ban on unprocessed ore exports that takes effect in 2014.

The US-based miner, reports Reuters, also said it will try to find a way around the rules when renegotiating its contract with the Indonesian authorities.

Grasberg, the world’s largest gold and second-largest copper mine with a history that dates back to the 1930s, resumed production in July, after an almost two months stoppage following the completion of a government probe into recent accidents at the mine.

As a result, the mine is expected to produce only 80% of its 2013-targeted output of 500,000 tonnes of copper, and 1.25 million ounces of gold. Grasberg also produces silver.

Freeport’s current contract to operate Grasberg in the Papua province expires in 2021.