Indonesia says it will extend copper export permits for Freeport, Amman

The Grasberg mine on the island of New Guinea, is one of the world’s biggest sources of copper and gold. (Image from Google Earth)

Indonesia will extend copper concentrate export permits for Freeport Indonesia and Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara, President Joko Widodo told reporters on Wednesday, adding that details of the extensions were still being worked out.

Both Freeport Indonesia and Amman are building copper smelters expected to start operation in June. But the companies have said the new smelters would need months to ramp up capacity to absorb their copper concentrate output.

The current permits are set to expire on May 31.

“I suppose, with the completion of the smelters, it shows their strong desire to start downstreaming in the country,” said Jokowi, as the president is popularly known.

Speaking of the companies’ plans while referring to his policy priority of having more mineral processing take place in Indonesia, he added that their permits would be extended but the government was still calculating the details.

An Amman spokesperson said the permit extension would help continuation of the company’s mining and expansion projects.

Freeport Indonesia is in a continuous discussion with the government, a company spokesperson said, without sharing more details.

Freeport is preparing to ship as much as 900,000 metric tons of copper concentrate, starting in June, from its Grasberg mine after positive talks with Indonesia to extend its export licence, two sources said this week.

(By Stanley Widianto, Bernadette Christina and Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by John Mair, Clarence Fernandez and Alexandra Hudson)


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *