May 17, 2020

Indonesia's Tax Break Helps Bridge Deal with Freeport-McMoRan

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.
Newmont Mining
Newmont Mining
2 min
Owned and operated by Freeport-McMoRan Cooper & Gold Inc., the Grasberg complex in Indonesia is the largest copper mine in the country.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.(NYSE:FCX) is set to resume mining operations in Indonesia after the country offered a tax concession to end the...

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) is set to resume mining operations in Indonesia after the country offered a tax concession to end the six-month dispute over copper exports.

The new tax incentives will cut the levy on mineral concentrate exports to less than 10 percent for miners that guarantee to build a smelter. As construction of the smelter progresses, the export tax falls to zero.

Freeport-McMoRan said on Wednesday the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to resume exports was imminent.

"It is a compromise to create a bridge for us so that we can return to normal operations," Freeport Chief Executive Richard Adkerson said.

The US miner, which owns the largest copper mine in the country, will become the first company to take the deal.

While Freeport enjoys the success of overcoming Indonesia’s tax obstacles, Newmont Mining hasn’t been so lucky.

After suspending operations at its Batu Hijau mine in June, the company filed for international arbitration earlier this month. In response, Indonesia threatened to terminate their mining contract if the company didn’t withdraw its lawsuit.

"There have been no MOU discussions with Newmont. None at all," Coal and Minerals director general Sukhyar said on Thursday.

"The government's position is we will face them in court."

Since winning Indonesia’s presidential elections, Joko Widodo has vowed to resolve the six-month dispute, which has exhausted government mining revenue. The ban on exports has halted roughly $500 million of monthly mineral ore and concentrate exports.

Freeport and Newmont are Indonesia's top copper miners, and account for 97 percent of the nation's copper output.

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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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