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Indonesia's next leader unlikely to ease tough mineral export rules

Published on Mar 12, 2014 11:52 AM

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's next president is unlikely to make major changes to the country's controversial mining rules, after major political parties backed an export ban that has led miners to halt US$6 billion (S$7.59 billion) in annual mineral exports.

The broad political support will disappoint miners, like Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Newmont Mining Corp, that may have been hoping the tough new rules were only temporary measures imposed by a lame duck administration.

Political parties representing presidential front runners for the July election said they support the current government's moves to ban mineral exports and tax concentrate shipments, aimed at forcing miners to build smelters in Indonesia.

Freeport has cut copper output by 60 per cent due to a prolonged dispute over the export tax imposed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is barred from running for a third term.

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