Newmont May Cut Indonesian Activity; Japanese Copper Falls

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Newmont Mining Corp is considering a big change. Apparently, the company “might curtail operations in Indonesia unless its dispute with the government over a new export tax is resolved in the next couple months, Chief Executive Gary Goldberg said on Friday,” reports Reuters.

“Goldberg, speaking on a call with analysts and investors, also said Newmont is reviewing its dividend policy, and will update investors on its plans in February. Newmont’s dividend is linked to gold prices, which have dropped sharply.”

“Newmont said last week it is considering legal action and other options in Indonesia, where the government has imposed a new tax on exports of metal concentrates. The company exports concentrate from its Batu Hijau copper and gold mine in the country.”

“‘We’re in a position in the next couple of months to look, if we aren’t able to reach agreement – to have to curtail operations,’ Goldberg said.”

“Freeport, the other major U.S. miner with significant operations in Indonesia, has already said it is deferring some production because of its conflict with the government over the export tax.”

In metal price news for copper…

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Copper MMI® was the cash price of Japanese copper, which saw a 4.6 percent decline. This week marked the third in a row of declining prices for the metal. The price of US copper producer grade 122 finished the week down 2.2 percent. The price of US copper producer grade 110 fell 2.2 percent. This was the third week in a row of declining prices. The price of US copper producer grade 102 dropped 2.1 percent this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices. Korean copper strip traded sideways last week.

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Chinese copper prices were mixed for the week. Closing out the third week of declining prices, the price of Chinese copper bar dropped by 0.4 percent. For the third week in a row, the Chinese copper cash price dropped, falling 0.4 percent. Chinese copper wire remained essentially flat from the previous week. Chinese bright copper scrap traded sideways last week.

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The copper 3-month price fell 2.0 percent on the LME for the week to settle at $7,115 per metric ton. The cash price of primary copper fell 1.8 percent last week on the LME, settling at $7,155 per metric ton.

The Copper MMI® collects and weights 12 global copper metal price points to provide a unique view into copper price trends. For more information on the Copper MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.