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Indonesia expects copper exports from Grasberg to fall in 2019

Copper concentrate exports from the Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia are expected to fall to 200,000 tonnes this year from about 1.2 million tonnes in 2018, Reuters reported Jan. 9, citing Yunus Saefulhak, the director of minerals at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.

The drop in exports will be due to a forecast decline in output from the mine due to a change from open pit to underground mining, according to the official.

Saefulhak added that production is expected to fall to 1.2 million tonnes of copper concentrate this year, compared to 2.1 million tonnes in 2018.

Domestic consumption will grow to 1 million tonnes, compared to 800,000 tonnes in 2018.

In December 2018, state-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Persero) closed a US$3.85 billion deal to secure a 51.2% stake in Freeport-McMoRan Inc. subsidiary PT Freeport Indonesia, which operates Grasberg.