JAKARTA, June 13 Indonesia's chief economics
minister said he planned to meet executives of major foreign
copper miners on Friday, and hoped to reach a quick deal over a
controversial tax that has halted concentrate exports for five
Richard Adkerson, the CEO of Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold
Inc and Newmont Mining Corp CEO Gary Goldberg
are in the capital Jakarta, signalling a fresh effort to reach a
settlement over the export tax that the miners say they should
not have to pay.
The tax is part of a government drive to force miners to
build smelters and processing plants in Southeast Asia's largest
economy, but a lack of progress in resolving the dispute has led
Newmont to declare force majeure and Freeport to slash output.
"We hope this happens quickly, everyone wants it to happen
quickly," said chief economics minister and billionaire
businessman Chairul Tanjung, who is spearheading a new
government push aimed at brokering a deal.
"As quickly as possible but we mustn't rush," he said when
asked for a timeframe. "If we can finish it quickly, we will
Both Freeport and fellow U.S.-based copper and gold miner
Newmont have argued they should be exempt from the tax, which
kicks in at 25 percent and rises to 60 percent in the second
half of 2016, before a total concentrate export ban in 2017.
They say their current contracts prohibit any extra taxes.
The two miners account for 97 percent of Indonesia's copper
Freeport could not be reached for comment on Friday, while
Newmont was unable to give immediate comment.
In addition to the export tax and domestic processing
requirements, the talks also include contract renegotiations.
(Reporting by Jakarta bureau; writing by Michael Taylor;
Editing by Richard Pullin)