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Indonesia sees Grasberg copper concentrate exports dwindling in 2019

Exports of copper concentrate from Indonesia’s Grasberg mine, the world’s second-largest copper mine, are expected to drop to 200,000 tonnes this year from around 1.2 million tonnes in 2018, an official at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said on Wednesday.

The decline in exports would result from a forecast drop in output from Grasberg, operated by U.S. miner Freeport McMoRan Inc and owned by Indonesia’s state-owned miner PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Persero).

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

Grasberg is seen producing 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, Saefulhak said.

Grasberg produced 270,000 tonnes of copper ore per day in 2018, he said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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