JAKARTA, April 11 Indonesia's mining ministry
has recommended a sharp cut in the export tax imposed on
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc and Newmont Mining
Corp after they promised to build a smelter, a senior
official said on Friday.
The two companies halted nearly $4 billion worth of annual
copper shipments in January, after the government imposed an
unexpected 25 percent export tax on shipments to force miners to
process their raw minerals domestically.
The mining ministry recommended that finance officials lower
the export tax to no more than 10 percent for Freeport and
Newmont, but the firms do not want to pay more than 5 percent,
mineral enterprise director Dede Suhendra told reporters.
"We (mining ministry) proposed to the finance ministry that
the export tax for Freeport and Newmont should be no more than
10 percent because they have already committed to paying a
deposit of 5 percent to build a new smelter," Suhendra said.
"But they asked to pay no more than 5 percent."
Both Freeport and Newmont, which could not be reached for
comment on Friday, still need finance ministry approval before
resuming copper concentrate exports.
The deputy finance minister last month told Reuters the
government had reached a deal with the two companies over the
export tax and expected copper shipments would resume by the end
(Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Michael Taylor;
Editing by Randy Fabi and Ron Popeski)