Freeport-McMoRan shares slump on earnings miss, Indonesia woes – by Nicole Mordant (Reuters U.S. – January 25, 2016)

Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX.N), the world’s biggest publicly-listed copper miner, warned on Wednesday that it would need to start slashing output and jobs at its Indonesia mine by mid-February if it fails to get an export permit from the government.

The Phoenix, Arizona-based miner also reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and cut its 2017 copper and gold production forecasts because it expects lower output at its massive Grasberg mine in Indonesia, sending its shares tumbling.

Freeport’s exports of copper concentrate from Indonesia have been halted since Jan. 12 when a ban on shipping semi-processed ore out of the Southeast Asian country came into effect to boost the local smelter industry.

The ban has removed more than 2 percent of supply from the global copper market, Jefferies analyst Christopher LaFemina estimates, a move that has helped copper prices CMCU3 hit two-month highs of $5,973 a tonne on Wednesday. [MET/L]

Freeport said it had told Jakarta that it would need to slash production at Grasberg to about 40 percent of capacity if it cannot export as it has limited amounts of storage for its copper concentrate.

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