Indonesia plans to implement an export ban on copper concentrate from 2023, although market players expect this to have a limited impact on China, the world’s largest importer of the product.
Indonesian copper concentrates are mainly exported to Asian countries such as China, with small volumes to Japan. But its exports accounted for only 2.1% of China’s total imports of 19.2 million tons from January to October this year, 1.7% from 21.8 million tons in 2020 and 1.3% of 22 million tonnes in 2019.
“We are now calculating [the possibility] stop exporting raw bauxite, possibly from next year. The following year it would be raw copper and the following year it would be tin. We will continue to do so, ”Indonesian President Joko Widodo said at a national coordination meeting yesterday.
The country has banned the export of nickel ore since January 1, 2020. China, the world’s largest importer of nickel ore, imported 23.8 million wet metric tonnes from Indonesia in 2019, which amounted to 42. 4% of total imports of this product to China that year.
Indonesian policy aims to add value and accelerate the development of domestic mining industries, thereby increasing employment and income, Widodo said. It hopes to integrate industrial zones for processing raw materials, from nickel and bauxite to tin and copper, and transform Indonesia from a traditional exporter of resources into a major producer of high value-added products and high-tech such as electric cars, syringes and semi-trailers. -conductive goods.
Supplies of copper concentrate over the next 2-3 years are expected to be sufficient, which will significantly lessen the impact of Indonesia’s potential ban on copper exports, according to market participants. Higher copper prices over the past two years have also encouraged some unused or old copper mines to resume operations or to modernize to expand their operations.
In addition, the American mining company Freeport-McMoRan, the operator of Indonesia’s largest copper mine, Grasberg, has decided to build a copper smelter in the eastern province of Java. The smelter is a commitment that Freeport-McMoRan made to the Indonesian government in 2018 to extend its mineral rights to Grasberg. The smelter has a planned processing capacity of 2 million t / year of copper concentrate, with construction scheduled to be completed by December 2023.
The mining company also plans to build a completely new new smelter in Indonesia with a processing capacity of around 1.7 million t / year of concentrate. This smelter is expected to be completed as soon as possible in 2024, subject to potential disruption related to the pandemic. Consumption of copper concentrates in Indonesia will total more than 3.7 million t / year once this smelter is commissioned.
Grasberg, along with 2-3 other small copper mines in the country, are expected to produce 3.6 to 3.8 million t / year of copper concentrates from 2022, Argus calculations show. This implies that the country will have the capacity to transform all of its copper concentrates into refined copper and therefore will not need to export copper concentrates after 2024.
Argus Media Limited published this content on 25 November 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on 25 November 2021 12:19:05 PM UTC.
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