Indonesia's mining ministry looks to ease mineral export ban
JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's mining ministry sought to ease a controversial mineral export ban before its Sunday deadline, but still looked set to prohibit more than US$2 billion (S$2.5 billion) worth of annual nickel ore and bauxite shipments.
Indonesian government officials are scrambling to pass regulations to ease a ban on unprocessed mineral ore exports from Jan 12.
The ban aims to boost Indonesia's long-term return from its mineral wealth, but officials fear a short-term cut in foreign revenue could widen the current account deficit, which has undermined investor confidence and battered the rupiah.
"The (mining) ministry proposed that miners will be given flexibility to export concentrate or processed minerals until 2017," Mr Sukhyar, director general of coal and minerals at the ministry, told reporters.