Government wont relax mineral ores export ban

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Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sudirman Said stated Monday that the government will not lift the current export ban on mineral ores as the risks from such a move would be greater than the expected benefits.

“I want to stress that (planned) relaxation of raw mineral export (ban) is not true because the government of Indonesia is committed to (mining industry) downstreaming program as part of the economic structural reform,” Sudirman said in a statement.

He was responding to reports late in August, quoting among others Director General of Mineral and Coal Bambang Gatot Ariyono as saying that the government is mulling to relax the export ban policy as part of planned incentives to revive investment in the mining sector particularly in the development of domestic smelters.

Sudirman acknowledged that there has been discourse recently of a possibility to relax the export ban policy, to allow some miners to resume mineral ores export to raise income to help finance the development of the required domestic smelters. Among of the proponents of such measure is the Iron Ores and Bauxite Entrepreneurs Association.

But others particularly miners who are currently developing smelters or those who have completed them protested the planned export ban relaxation, arguing that it would undermine the supply of ores for their smelters, and that consistency of government policy is crucial for long-term investment such as smelter project.

Sudirman said that after thorough evaluation, the government finally decided not to accommodate the request to relax the export ban policy, saying that the risks are greater than the expected benefits including in terms of environmental management, policy consistency and legal aspect.

“We want to appreciate several businesses which have made strong efforts for years to follow our regulation by withholding export of ores and then work hard to develop (the required) smelters. Incentive (relaxation of export ban) is not the right step, so there will be no more discussion about this,” Sudirman said.

Posted by : admin [ 9/8/2015 5:38:00 AM ]