Freeport, Indonesia Inching Closer to Resuming Copper Exports
Arizona-based Freeport McMoRan is inching closer to resuming copper exports in Indonesia after agreeing on the basic framework for contract renegotiations. The mining company is working with the Indonesian government to resolve a dispute over a mineral export tax before a new administration takes over in October.
Freeport isn’t the only one fighting Indonesia’s increased export tax. In January Newmont Mining suspended copper concentrate shipments when the government first introduced the new mining rules, declaring the rule violates its mining contracts. The two companies account for 97 percent of Indonesia’s copper exports.
The CEOs of both companies met with chief economic minister Chairul Tanjung in Jakarta last week in an effort to resolve the five-month dispute.
"There was a lot of progress and we have moved forward in the renegotiation process, but there are still some processes left," Rozik Soetjipto, Freeport Indonesia CEO, said on Tuesday.
The export tax is part of a government drive to force miners to build smelters and processing plants in Indonesia.
Freeport’s contract with Indonesia can only be renewed in 2019, but the company hopes to resolve the issue by creating a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
"In the meeting with Chairul Tanjung, we agreed to the principal points (of the MoU)," Soetjipto said. "The MoU will contain details of the basic points that will become the agreement for (the new contract)."
Freeport McMoRan operates the Grasberg mine in Indonesia, the world’s largest gold mine, and second-largest copper mine. Newmont’s main asset in Indonesia belongs to the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine on the island of Sumbawa Barat.
Newmont acquires Canada’s GT Gold in $325mn deal
Newmont, the world’s biggest gold miner, has acquired Canada’s GT Gold in a deal worth $325mn. The gold giant now controls the Tatogga gold-copper project in the Traditional Territory of the Tahltan Nation.
“With the acquisition of GT Gold and the Tatogga project in the highly sought-after Golden Triangle district of British Columbia, Canada, Newmont continues to strengthen our world-class portfolio,” commented Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer.
“We look forward to continuing to build a respectful and meaningful relationship with the Tahltan Nation, including the community of Iskut. The relationships we have with Indigenous communities, First Nations and host communities are critical to the way we operate. We will partner with the Tahltan Nation at all levels, and with the Government of British Columbia to ensure a shared path forward as the Company understands and acknowledges that Tahltan consent is necessary for advancing the Tatogga project.”
Newmont’s acquisition includes the Tatogga project, comprised primarily of the Saddle North deposit, which has the potential to contribute future significant gold and copper annual production. There are also further exploration opportunities beyond the known deposits at Saddle North within the land package. The Tatogga project adds to Newmont’s existing interest in the prospective Golden Triangle through the company’s 50% ownership in the Galore Creek project.
Newmont is the world’s leading gold company and a producer of copper, silver, zinc and lead. A world-class portfolio of assets, prospects and talent is anchored in favourable mining jurisdictions in North America, South America, Australia and Africa. The American miner is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month.
With gold prices on the rise, the last six months has seen gold industry M&A activity accelerating. A recent Mckinsey report, advises that the industry need to be mindful of mistakes made during the previous gold price boom, when growth was chased unidirectionally by several companies.