Freeport readying first copper export from Grasburg mine in 15 weeks

|By:, SA News Editor

Freeport McMoRan (FCX +1.1%) is preparing three copper concentrate export shipments from its giant Grasberg mine in Indonesia after a 15-week outage, Reuters reports.

A shipping source in Japan says a vessel has loaded 22K metric tons of copper concentrate from Grasberg and is set to leave for South Korea, and other ships may be headed to India and China, according to the report.

The restart of Grasberg shipments could save freight costs for east Asian customers forced to buy from Chile while Indonesian exports were offline; it takes ~35 days to ship from Chile, more than 3x longer than it takes to ship from Grasberg.

FCX is ramping up output and copper shipments from the world's second biggest copper mine after obtaining an export permit on Friday that coincided with a state visit by U.S. VP Pence.