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Freeport Indonesia union says layoffs "inevitable" due to export tax

Published on Jan 14, 2014 6:57 PM

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - United States miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold 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.

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 per cent from 20 per cent, and will gradually go up to a maximum 60 per cent by the end of 2016.

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