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Jakarta Post

Freeport lowers copper target for operational transition

  • Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 10, 2019   /   02:24 pm
Freeport lowers copper target for operational transition Miners use heavy equipment at an underground mine operated by PT Freeport Indonesia in Timika, Papua. (Courtesy of/PT Freeport Indonesia)

Gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) has set a lower copper concentrate production target of 1.2 million tons – 800,000 tons less than last year's output of 2.1 million tons – to accommodate its transition from an open pit to underground mining operation, an energy official has said.

"The open pit mine is not closed. Production [there] is continuing to date. It is an overlap between open pit and underground mining," minerals director Yunus Saefulhak of the Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry told press on Wednesday.

PTFI plans to export only 200,000 tons of this year's production, while the remaining 1 million tons is to be processed at its smelter in Gresik, East Java.

The ministry also projected a decline in PTFI's 2019 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

Coal and mineral director general Bambang Gatot Ariyono said that the company  would see a declining trend in its EBITDA beginning this year until it commenced optimal production in 2025. "After 2025, PTFI's revenue and EBITDA will be stable," he said.

PTFI's export permit for copper concentrate is to expire in February, but the government has said it would extend the permit if the company fulfilled existing requirements, including the production target. (bbn)