Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) confirmed the extension of PT Freeport Indonesia's (PTFI's) copper concentrate export permit, which was set to expire on May 31, 2024.

"Yes, we will continue the permit," he assured on the sidelines of a working visit to Karawang, West Java, on Wednesday.

However, the head of state said, the government still needs to consider the benchmark export price (HPE) for Freeport, considering that the HPE for several mining commodities will increase in April 2024.

He also lauded the construction of a Freeport smelter in Gresik, East Java, which will refine 1.7 million tons of copper concentrate and produce up to 600 thousand tons of copper cathodes per year.

He also assured that the government is continuing to monitor the smelter construction process, which has almost reached completion.

"We appreciate that Freeport and (PT) Amman (Mineral) have built the smelter. It is almost complete. We always monitor the progress weekly," he said.

Related news: Freeport asks for easing of export permit conditions

He added that the smelter construction demonstrates the strong willingness of Freeport and PT Amman to support the downstream industry in Indonesia.

"I think what they did was good and we should appreciate it," he emphasized.

Earlier, PTFI had proposed another extension (relaxation) of exports of copper concentrate and anode mud until the Manyar smelter in Gresik, East Java, becomes fully operational by the end of 2024.

The construction of the Manyar smelter is targeted to be completed in June, following which, the facility will be commissioned and the production schedule will be ramped-up until the end of 2024.

The government had earlier granted permission to extend PTFI's concentrate exports — which were supposed to end in June 2023 — until May 2024.

The main products made by the smelter are copper cathodes, pure gold and silver bars, and platinum group metal (PGM). Its additional products include sulfuric acid, gypsum, and lead.

Related news: Freeport gets export permit for concentrate

Translator: Yashinta Difa P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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