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Indonesia extends Freeport-McMoRan's export permit for 5 months

The Indonesian government renewed 's export permit,allowing the company to ship 1.4 million tonnes of concentrate from itsGrasbergcopper-gold mine through Jan. 11, 2017, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 11, citingMarthin Simanungkalit, a trade ministry director.

The permit period is shorter than the usual six months asthe government is set to banshipments of semi-processed metals such as concentrates from Jan.12, 2017, though the regulation may be postponed, with the country's parliamentto review the bill later this year.

The permit's renewal was tipped days earlier, following the mining ministry'srecommendation to renew Freeport's export license.

According to Bambang Gatot Ariyono, director-general of coaland minerals at the mining ministry, Freeport's unit will haveto pay a 5% tax on the shipments, due to the slow progress in the constructionof Freeport's smelter in East Java, which is only about 14% complete.

Riza Pratama, the company's spokesman, said the smelter'sgroundbreaking target in July was missed because the land was not ready.

The Indonesian government is planning to review its mininglaw that will ban ore exports starting 2017 as falling commodity prices delayedthe construction of smelters in the country. The law was passed to requireminers to build smelters or sell ore to firms with local smelters in a bid toincrease thecountry's returns from its natural resources.