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JAKARTA, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Freeport-McMoRan has stopped exporting since last month from one of the world’s largest copper mines that it runs in Indonesia, a spokesman said on Wednesday, as the U.S. miner awaits approval from the trade ministry.
Riza Pratama, a spokesman for the company’s Indonesia unit, confirmed in a text message to Reuters that exports had stopped since “the last permit expired July 25”.
Freeport, which runs the Grasberg mine in Papua, halted shipments after failing to obtain an exemption from a new rule requiring mining exports to use letters of credit, the Jakarta Globe newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The government had earlier exempted the firm from the rule for six months, but this expired on July 25.
Late last month, Indonesia and Arizona-based Freeport reached a deal that allowed the mining giant to export up to 775,000 tonnes of copper over the next six months.
At that time, Freeport Indonesia Chief Executive Maroef Sjamsoeddin told reporters that 20,000-30,000 tonnes was ready to be shipped once approval was given.
Trade ministry officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Albar Sabang, a senior official at a Freeport union, said that production was running normally. (Reporting by Michael Taylor, Wilda Asmarini and Bernadette Christina; Editing by Ed Davies)