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Indonesia mines ministry may recommend easing of tax on Freeport

Published on Mar 3, 2014 12:14 PM

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's mines ministry could recommend as early as this week that Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold receive a reprieve from a controversial tax that has halted copper exports for more than two months, a government official told Reuters.

Freeport and fellow US miner Newmont Mining Corp have refused to pay an export tax on mineral concentrates imposed in January, which rises from 25 per cent this year to up to 60 per cent by the second half of 2016, saying it breaches their contracts.

To win the tax reprieve, Freeport must pay the government a 5 per cent security bond for the construction of a smelter and finalise supply agreements with smelter-building companies, said Mr Sukhyar, director general of coal and minerals for the mines ministry.

"After (meeting those conditions)... I will ask the ministry of finance to reduce, discount or even eliminate the export tax," he said after a book launch event over the weekend in Jakarta.

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