Indonesia re-examines mineral processing requirements
JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's government is re-examining provisions in a mining law that would ban exports of unprocessed metal ores from next year, chief economic minister Hatta Rajasa said on Thursday, asserting that the law must not be breached.
A furious debate has erupted over the scheduled export ban, an issue that pits nationalist-minded lawmakers against officials and companies desperate not to lose revenue.
From Jan 12, mining companies must process their ore before shipping it overseas, a measure that aims to boost the value of exports from Indonesia, the world's top exporter of nickel ore, thermal coal and refined tin.
But uncertainty over details on the processing requirements set out in the law has drawn protests from small mining companies as well as major players, including United States giants Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold and Newmont Mining Corp which now turn only about a third of their production into refined copper domestically in Indonesia.