Thursday, February 9, 2017

1) Freeport remains confused over new mining rules

2) Special Mining Permit Comforts Investors: Freeport
3) Disruptions at top two copper mines threaten global supply

1) Freeport remains confused over new mining rules
Fedina S. Sundaryani The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Thu, February 9, 2017 | 04:23 pm

A heavy vehicle passes a mining site at gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia’s open pit facility in Grasberg, Tembagapura, Mimika, Papua. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

Gold and copper miner Freeport Indonesia is still reluctant to convert its contract of work (CoW) to a special mining permit (IUPK) as it says the concept of the latter remains unclear.
Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said the firm, a unit of US giant Freeport-McMoRan, needed to fully understand what an IUPK was in order to ensure investment stability.
"It all really depends on the IUPK, which the government has yet to explain to us. This means we haven't been able to export and our storage facility is getting full," he told reporters at the House of Representatives building in Central Jakarta on Thursday.
"However, we hope the government can show us the way because, right now, we do not feel comfortable investing."
Last month, the government issued a fourth revision of Government Regulation No. 23/2010 on the management of mineral and coal businesses, which allows miners to continue exporting copper concentrate, certain amounts of low-grade nickel and washed bauxite.
However, miners operating under a CoW will have to convert it to an IUPK to obtain an export permit, which would be reviewed every six months.
Since the regulation was issued, Freeport Indonesia has not been able to export its copper concentrate and has threatened to downsize production and its workforce. (bbn)

THURSDAY, 09 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 21:36 WIB
2) Special Mining Permit Comforts Investors: Freeport
TEMPO.COJakarta - PT Freeport Indonesia views that the requirements set by the government in the temporary special mining permit (IUPK) are aimed at providing assurance for investors. Huge investment value was the reason for Freeport to maintain several articles in the contract of works. “We just want investment stability, so that our investors will feel comfortable in making the investment, since there are differences between the special mining permit and the contract of works,” Freeport Indonesia spokesperson Riza Pratama said after attending a closed hearing with the House of Representatives Commission VII overseeing energy affairs in Jakarta on Thursday, February 9, 2017.
Currently, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry (ESDM) is evaluating the temporary special mining permit applied by Freeport. With such a permit, Freeport will be allowed to export concentrates for the next six months. Riza added that Freeport is committed to switching to the special mining permit. “We asked for several conditions, and we have several disagreements with the government. There are also requirements that we haven’t met yet, but the transition won’t be so fast. We are in the process of applying it,” Riza explained. In response to a question related to the closed meeting with the House, Riza refused to provide details of the discussion. “We were discussing challenges to be faced by Freeport in the future, particularly those related to Government Regulation No. 1/2017,” Riza said. FAJAR PEBRIANTO | ABDUL MALIK


3) Disruptions at top two copper mines threaten global supply
COMMODITIES | Wed Feb 8, 2017 | 8:48am EST
By Wilda Asmarini | JAKARTA
Disruptions at the world's two biggest copper mines by strikes and other issues this week are threatening to reduce global supplies of the metal, pushing benchmark prices back towards their highest levels for the year so far.
BHP Billiton said it would halt output in Chile at its Escondida mine, the biggest copper producer, during a strike to begin on Thursday. Freeport-McMoRan Inc warned it will scale back output at its Grasberg mine in Indonesia, the second-biggest, amid a smelter strike and issues over renewal of its mining permit.
Graphic: Copper prices surge as mines set to cut output - here
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange gained more than 2 percent during trading on Wednesday to $5,925 a ton on the supply threat, with analysts noting they had already been expecting tighter supplies this year. [MET/L]
Standard Chartered estimated that more than 5,000 tonnes of copper production would be lost each day that both BHP and Freeport were curtailing or halting output at their mines.
In Indonesia, a strike at the country's biggest copper smelter, which is Freeport's sole domestic offtaker of copper concentrate, has added to the company's woes.
Freeport had warned last week it could be forced to cut staff and production at Grasberg if it did not get a new export permit by mid-February.
Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama on Wednesday confirmed by text message that the company planned to begin copper output cuts.
"We are still negotiating with the government," Pratama told Reuters, looking for a "way out so that we can export again."
Concentrate exports from the mine in Papua, Indonesia, were halted on Jan. 12 as part of Indonesia's push to add value domestically to natural resources.
In Chile, the main union for workers at Escondida said that unlike other recent labor actions the strike scheduled for Thursday could be lengthy.
Standard Chartered said a strike of 25 days would equate to lost output of 85,000 tonnes, more than an expected global surplus of 80,000 tonnes.
The threat of the output reductions also boosted Shanghai Futures Exchange copper by nearly 2 percent.
Swiss investment bank UBS said tight copper supplies this year, along with the disruptions, could push prices for the metal to $3 a pound, or more than $6,600 a ton, which would be the highest for the metal since November 2014.
(Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Additional reporting by Susan Taylor; Writing by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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