TORONTO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Freeport-McMoRan Inc has declared force majeure on “nearby deliveries” of copper concentrate from its suspended Grasberg mine in Indonesia, Metal Bulletin reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.
Freeport, the world’s biggest public-listed copper miner, did not immediately respond to requests for information.
Smelters in Asia, with Grasberg shipments scheduled for delivery late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter, were told yesterday and today that Freeport cannot guarantee when it will next meet shipment schedules, the Metal Bulletin reported.
Other customers, with deliveries later in the year, had not received notification, the report added, citing sources with direct involvement.
A more than month-long export suspension brought production at the giant Grasberg mine in Papua, Indonesia, to a standstill last week.
Separately on Friday, Indonesia’s mining ministry recommended that Freeport be granted a permit to export 1.1 million tonnes of copper concentrates until Feb. 16, 2018.
The country introduced rules on Jan. 12 requiring Freeport and some other miners to shift from ‘contracts of work’ to so-called ‘special mining permits,’ before being allowed to resume exports of semi-processed ores and concentrates.
Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport has said it would only agree to a new mining permit with the same fiscal and legal protection in its current contract. (Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Bernadette Baum)