Group Copper
Bureaucratic hitch delays Freeport's Indonesian export permit
(Minews) - The implementation of an export deal reached earlier this week by Indonesia and Freeport-McMoRan has been delayed indefinitely due to the sickness of a senior trade ministry official.

Arizona-based Freeport, which runs one of the biggest copper mines in Papua, reached an agreement with the Indonesian government to export 775,000 tonnes of copper over the next six months on Monday, after proving sufficient progress on the construction of a second domestic smelter.

Freeport and Indonesia were involved in an export spat for much of last year which hurt shipments and was only resolved after the miner agreed to build a domestic smelter, pay higher royalties and divest more of its Indonesian unit.

"The recommendation (from the mine ministry) came yesterday," Didi Sumedi, director of export industry and mining product at the trade ministry told reporters on Wednesday. "With the current situation, perhaps we'll need some more time."

"The dirgen (director general) is currently recovering from a health condition, but I think it won't be long," said Sumedi, who was unable to give a timeframe but added that the permit would need the director general's signature.

Partogi Pangaribuan is the Indonesian trade ministry's director general for foreign trade, and Sumedi said Pangaribuan is due to retire on Aug. 1 and be replaced soon after.

Freeport Indonesia, which agreed to deposit the last $20 million instalment for the building of a second copper smelter as part of Monday's deal, was unable to give an immediate comment on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, a company official said it expected copper shipments to take place this weekend.
Publish date : Wednesday 29 July 2015 17:28
Story Code: 26479
Source : Reuters