Indonesia plans to soften foreign miners' divestment rule
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia plans to relax a rule forcing foreign miners to sell majority stakes and allow those who make downstream investments to keep bigger holdings, a spokesman at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said on Thursday.
Last year, the Indonesian government said foreign companies must reduce their stake in a mine to 49 per cent or less within 10 years of production starting, though it has been unclear how the rules will be applied.
The rule was part of a push by Indonesia, which is the world's top nickel ore, refined tin and thermal coal exporter, to generate more profits and influence in commodities markets.
"For those companies that integrate the upstream and downstream mining activities, they may have that divestment relaxation policy. Instead of divesting 51 percent to be achieved on year 10 of its activity," ministry spokesman Saleh Abdurrahman said in an email.