U.S. markets closed

Indonesia govt to alter mineral export ban before Jan deadline

JAKARTA, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Indonesia will provide exemptions to its 2014 mineral export ban for firms that process ore domestically, the country's mining minister said on Friday, providing some potential relief for mining giants Freeport and Newmont.

"Mining companies that still don't process and smelt (domestically) will not be allowed to export ore," mining and energy minister Jero Wacik told reporters after a meeting with the chief economic and industry ministers.

"For firms that already process and smelt, (the government) will issue a new government regulation before January 12, 2014."

Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold and Newmont Mining Corp. both have argued that the copper concentrate they produce in Indonesia should be exempt from a ban on unprocessed mineral exports due to come into effect next month.