HOTTER ON METALS: What is going on at Freeport’s Grasberg?

In the 50 years that Freeport-McMoRan has been active in Indonesia, this year is perhaps proving to be the most complex yet.

The company has been unable to export concentrates from the country since mid-January, when its licence to do so expired, and has been forced to cut production its Grasberg copper mine. What this means in reality is a little more difficult to ascertain. The company’s 90.64%-owned subsidiary in Indonesia, PT Freeport Indonesia (PT-FI), says it has been forced to halt concentrate production at Grasberg because it cannot store it after a strike at a key consumer, Gresik, has meant the bulk material has filled its warehouses to capacity.  The company in the USA meanwhile says the mine has reduced output but has not specified by how much, although confirmed that Gresik will resume operations in March, and that Grasberg will tailor its concentrate output levels to ensure it can supply the plant.  Freeport ceo Richard Adkerson said recently that if it could not export from Grasberg then it would be forced to reduce concentrate...

Published

Andrea Hotter

February 14, 2017

16:31 GMT

New York