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Freeport may soon secure temporary mining permit in Indonesia, official says

Indonesia may issue a temporary mining permit for up to six months "in one or two days" to Freeport-McMoRan Inc. unit PT Freeport Indonesia, Reuters reported Jan. 30, citing the country's energy and mineral resources minister, Ignasius Jonan.

Jonan said the government is processing a proposal from the company and may issue a temporary special mining permit and an export permit if it meets requirements, including the construction of a smelter, as required by new legislation.

The company's copper concentrate shipments from Indonesia have been halted since Jan. 12 when a ban on shipping semiprocessed ore out of the country came into effect.

The temporary permit will potentially allow the company to resume exports of copper concentrate from the Grasberg copper-gold mine.

Freeport earlier said it risks losing approximately 70 million pounds of copper and 100,000 ounces of gold for each month it is not allowed to export.

CEO Richard Adkerson also said the company may have to curtail costs by mid-February at Grasberg should it fail to secure the export permit and flagged large layoffs and CapEx cutbacks as a result.

Meanwhile, Jonan added that if the company fails to complete the requirements for a full permit within the given time frame, Indonesia will move to revoke Freeport's permit.