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Freeport halts Indonesia copper exports ahead of mineral export ban

JAKARTA, Jan 11 (Reuters) - U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc has halted its copper exports from Indonesia, less than an hour before a controversial mineral export ban comes into effect, a union official told Reuters late Saturday.

Indonesia on Sunday will impose a ban on more than $10 billion worth of annual copper, nickel and other unprocessed mineral ore shipments, a move that industry officials warn could lead to mass layoffs, mine closures and depleted foreign revenue.

"There will be no concentrate exports from Freeport Indonesia in Papua as long as there is no government policy providing certainty on concentrate exports," said union official Virgo Solossa.

Company spokeswoman Daisy Primayanti said the Freeport continued to ship copper to its local smelter for use domestically.