Indonesia to temporarily exempt Freeport from some new mining rules: official – by Wilda Asmarini (Reuters U.S. – January 31, 2017)

JAKARTA – Indonesia will temporarily exempt the local unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc from some new rules while processing its application for new mining rights, a ministry official said, potentially allowing for the resumption of copper concentrate exports.

Freeport (FCX.N) has warned that the halt to its shipments since the new mining rules took effect on Jan. 12 could lead to a sharp drop in output at its Grasberg mine.

“While their special mining license is not definitive, we cannot apply (these rules) fully,” coal and minerals director general Bambang Gatot told Reuters on Tuesday, when asked about the fiscal and other requirements of Freeport’s special mining license.

It was not immediately clear which of the new rules, which require Freeport to pay more taxes and divest a 51 percent stake, the company would be temporarily exempted from.

Mining Minister Ignasius Jonan said on Monday Freeport could be issued with a temporary permit within one or two days while the government decides on the company’s application for a new special mining license. A temporary permit would also allow Freeport to resume concentrate exports, he said.

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