The countdown is on for this key copper nation

The countdown is on for this key copper nation

The world’s largest copper miner, Chile’s Codelco, dodged a bullet this past week once management got an early labor deal signed with workers at the Chuquicamata mega-mine — heading off any potential strike action.

But the news wasn’t quite as good this week in another major copper nation - indonesia.

Politicians in the country told a press gathering that they’re still seeking a solution to 1 of the biggest problems in the mining space here: a looming ban on unprocessed mineral exports. that could see copper offer from the nation choked off over the coming weeks.

The ban itself dates back to january 2014 — once regulators passed a law requiring mined ore to be upgraded in indonesia. Precluding the export of mineral concentrates to foreign smelters, that was common practice at the time.

Regulators then backed off, amending the law to permit concentrate exports until Jan 12, 2017. Giving time for miners to make local smelters to process ore.

That deadline is currently just 3 weeks away. And miners like Indonesia’s biggest copper producer Freeport-McMoRan are reportedly looking for more time — however there’s no guarantee they’re going to get it.

That’s as a result of Indonesia’s government still hasn’t created any progress in changing the law. With officers

from a parliamentary commission overseeing mining saying they haven’t received any updated legislation on the export ban — despite reports earlier this year that revised rules would be ready by Sep.