Indonesia targets increase in Freeport, Newmont copper sales in 2014

JAKARTA, March 28 Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:16am EDT

JAKARTA, March 28 (Reuters) - Indonesia has approved an increase in sales for local units of copper miners Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc and Newmont Mining Corp , which together produce 97 percent of the country's copper, while the two firms await approval to resume exports.

The targets include a more than 10 percent increase in Freeport's copper concentrate sales from its Grasberg mine at 2,118,525 tonnes in 2014 compared to realised sales of 1,919,667 tonnes in 2013, a mining ministry official said on Friday.

Of this amount, Freeport's copper concentrate export sales are also targetted to increase more than 10 percent to 1,218,525 tonnes in 2014 compared to realised export sales of 1,104,161 tonnes in 2013.

"That data is base on their planning and our approval," Coal and Minerals Director General Sukhyar told reporters on Friday.

The government has also approved a target to increase increase copper concentrate sales from Newmont's Batu Hijau mine by 66 percent to 527,136 tonnes this year compared to realised 2013 sales of 316,851 tonnes.

Of this amount the target includes export sales of 403,036 tonnes compared to realised export sales of 236,932 tonnes in 2013.

Southeast Asia's largest economy is pushing to increase added value to the minerals it produces and has introduced rules forcing miners to refine metals domestically, including an escalating tax on exports.

Freeport and Newmont have halted copper concentrate shipments since January, refusing to pay the export tax that they say breaches their contracts. (Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Fergus Jensen, editing by William Hardy)