Indonesian government 'must' offer incentives to build smelters: Indosmelt
JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's government must provide tax holidays and other financial incentives to convince companies to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to build copper smelters amid weak global prices, said the head of smelting firm PT Indosmelt.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last month imposed new mining policies, including a controversial mineral ore export ban and progressive export taxes, aimed at forcing miners to build smelters and process their raw materials in Indonesia.
The policies have forced US miners Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold and Newmont Mining Corp, which together produce 97 per cent of Indonesia's copper, to halt all exports.
The two firms have yet to commit to building smelters, saying it was not economically viable to make such large investments.