Freeport-McMoRan Battling Export Taxes, Forced to Lay Off Workers

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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold is battling an increase in export taxes. The company “will be forced to lay off workers from the world’s fifth-biggest copper mine in Indonesia to offset an unexpected increase in export taxes, a union official said on Tuesday,” reports Reuters.

“President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono rushed through a last-minute regulation on Saturday giving copper miners Freeport and Newmont Mining Corp a reprieve from a controversial mineral export ban, but imposed an escalating tax to limit the amount of mineral concentrate exports over the next few years.”

“Freeport has halted copper concentrate exports from its port in Papua and is seeking more clarity on the new policy. It also needs a new export permit to resume shipments.”

“Under the regulation, the tax for copper concentrate exports has been raised to 25 percent from 20 percent, and will gradually go up to a maximum 60 percent by the end of 2016.”

In metal price news for copper…

The Japanese copper cash price experienced the biggest price decline of the day, dropping 1.6 percent to close on Tuesday, January 14. The price of US copper producer grade 110 rose 0.2 percent. The price of US copper producer grade 122 inched up 0.2 percent. The price of US copper producer grade 102 increased 0.2 percent.

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Chinese copper prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese copper bar was essentially unchanged. The cash price of Chinese copper held steady. The price of Chinese copper wire remained essentially flat. Chinese bright copper scrap stayed flat.

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On the LME, the primary copper cash price gained 0.3 percent to finish at $7,305 per metric ton. After a 0.2 percent increase, the copper 3-month price finished the day on the LME at $7,275 per metric ton.