Freeport McMoran Copper has been involved in a stand-off with the Indonesian government over a tax on mineral exports since last year, Forbes reported. The Indonesian government had earlier banned unprocessed mineral exports from the country with effect from January 12. However, last minute changes to the law permitted both Freeport and Newmont Mining to export their copper concentrates, subject to new regulations, including an export tax. Both Freeport and Newmont had halted mineral exports from Indonesia as they did not have the necessary approvals under the new rules. Negotiations between the two companies and the Indonesian government have been ongoing for some time.
Newmont recently filed for international arbitration against the Government of Indonesia, seeking resumption of their mineral exports from the country. However, Freeport continued negotiations with the government, seeking resolution of the situation. The company has reached an agreement with the government over a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a contract renegotiation. However, the MoU has not been signed yet and there is still no concrete timeframe for resumption of mineral exports
While Freeport’s business with Indonesia concerns copper exports, any relaxation of the export rules could affect nickel, which has surged 40% this year since the ban went into effect. The negotiations also have mentioned Freeport building a new copper smelter in Indonesia.
The nickel 3-month price experienced the biggest price decline of the day, dropping 0.7 percent on the LME to close at $19,150 per metric ton on Friday, July 18. On the LME, the spot price of nickel fell 0.6 percent to $19,075 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price rose 0.1 percent to INR 1,163 ($19.18) per kilogram.
Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat at CNY 8,300 ($1,338) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,370) per metric ton.
The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge continues hovering around $1.31 per pound for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 26,000 ($4,190) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil held flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,643) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 16,100 ($2,595) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,400 ($2,643) per metric ton.