Freeport hits roadblock with Japanese smelters

Dec 27, 2006 | 07:56 AM | Sean Barry

Negotiations for annual copper treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) between Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. and Japanese smelters have hit a brick wall because of the copper producer's refusal to modify several side terms, according to trade sources.

Talks have now broken off until January. New Orleans-based Freeport, which owns the giant Grasberg copper and gold mine in Indonesia, appears unwilling to follow benchmark settlements between BHP Billiton and Japanese smelters Pan Pacific Copper Co. (PPC) and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd.

Under those deals, smelters booked material for next year at a TC/RC of $60 per tonne/6 cents per pound with no price participation. The contracts featured a number of side terms, including an extension to provisional payment terms of between 20 to 30 days and a higher refining charge for the gold content of the material (AMM, Dec 22).....





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