* Targets include 66 pct increase in Newmont copper sales
* Freeport targtting 2014 copper sales worth $5.7 bln
* Govt pushing to resume shipments quickly
(Recasts, adds latest details on resumption of exports,
By Wilda Asmarini
JAKARTA, March 28 Indonesia has approved big
increases in 2014 copper sales for local units of copper miners
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc and Newmont Mining
Corp, as it pushes for the two firms to resume exports
While the two U.S.-based miners this week made progress
toward a resumption of exports from Indonesia, any prolonged
stoppage would hurt their share prices and support global prices
of the base metal, which have lost almost 11 percent
Freeport and Newmont together produce 97 percent of
Indonesia's copper, and as a shareholder in both firms the
hiatus could also hurt its national income that also benefits
from their tax and royalty payments.
The targets include more than 10 percent increase in
Freeport's copper concentrate sales from its Grasberg mine in
Papua at 2,118,525 tonnes in 2014 compared to realised sales of
1,919,667 tonnes in 2013, a mining ministry official said on
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.
"This data is based on their planning and our approval,"
Coal and Minerals Director General Sukhyar told reporters.
The government has also approved a target to increase copper
concentrate sales from Newmont's Batu Hijau mine in Sumbawa 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
Southeast Asia's largest economy is pushing to increase
added value to the minerals it produces and introduced tough new
rules this year that force 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.
Indonesia is keen for the two firms to resume exports
because of the potential loss in their contributions to state
revenue. Both companies gained certification as registered
exporters this week, bringing them closer to this goal.
"This has to be quick," Sukhyar told Reuters on Thursday,
referring to the final steps the government needed to take for
the two companies to begin exporting again after the January
"Their concentrate needs to be shipped out. It's a pity if
it's not," he said adding that exports could restart in April.
Freeport's total contributions to Indonesia in the form of
taxes, royalties and dividends since 1992 had reached $15.2
billion last year, with approximately $500 million in 2013
alone, the company noted in an emailed statement received on
Freeport also said that while no dividends were paid in 2013
because of low commodity prices, a resumption of exports would
mean an increase in these contributions as well as taxes and
Newmont share prices have slumped nearly 30 percent since
September, partly because of uncertainty in Indonesia.
Copper prices and are recovering from a 3-1/2 year low of
$6,321 a tonne hit earlier this month.
(Additional reporting by Fergus Jensen; Editing by William