Freeport awaiting last-minute OK on 2018 Indonesia copper exports

|By:, SA News Editor

Freeport McMoRan's (FCX -0.8%) Indonesian unit is waiting for a last-minute approval of its application to extend copper concentrate exports from the giant Grasberg mine.

FCX’s Grasberg export permit is due to expire on Friday, but Indonesia’s mining ministry says it is still evaluating the application.

FCX obtained a quota to export 1.1M metric tons of concentrate in the year ended on Feb. 16 and has applied for roughly the same volume this year.

Export recommendations are granted only to companies that keep to smelter development timelines under rules issued last year, and a ministry official says FCX had completed just over 2% of a long-promised second copper smelter in Indonesia, although the government also would consider progress the company has made in other areas in evaluating its application.