In­done­sia says Gras­berg cop­per con­cen­trate ex­ports may dip

The Gulf Today - Business - - INTERNATIONAL -

JAKARTA: Cop­per con­cen­trate ex­ports from In­done­sia’s Gras­berg mine, the world’s sec­ond­largest cop­per mine, are fore­cast to plunge this year be­cause of a lag in out­put as oper­a­tions move from open pit to un­der­ground min­ing, a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said.

In 2019, cop­per con­cen­trate ex­ports are ex­pected to drop to 200,000 tonnes from about 1.2 mil­lion tonnes last year, said Yunus Sae­ful­hak, the direc­tor of min­er­als at the En­ergy and Min­eral Re­sources Min­istry.

Gras­berg’s op­er­a­tor, US miner Freeport Mc­moran, has doc­u­mented the out­put de­cline, which is the re­sult of the switch from the de­plet­ing open pit mine early this year but be­fore a mas­sive ex­pan­sion of a co­ex­ist­ing un­der­ground mine ramps up to full pro­duc­tion.

The out­put drop will cut Gras­berg’s rev­enue over the next few years just as In­done­sia’s sta­te­owned miner PT In­done­sia Asa­han Alu­minium (PT Inalum) takes over own­er­ship of the US miner’s PT Freeport In­done­sia unit.

“Con­cen­trate pro­duc­tion in 2019 will de­cline be­cause of the change from open pit to un­der­ground (min­ing),” said Sae­ful­hak.

Gras­berg will pro­duce around 1.2 mil­lion tonnes of cop­per con­cen­trate this year, com­pared to 2.1 mil­lion tonnes in 2018, while do­mes­tic con­sump­tion will grow to 1 mil­lion tonnes com­pared to 800,000 tonnes in 2018, the min­istry said.

A spokesman for Inalum said the de­cline was in line with ex­pec­ta­tions.

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