Oct 7 Indonesia could export up to 15 million tonnes of nickel ore in 2017 if it amends a ban on unprocessed ore exports, a mining ministry official said on Friday.
Indonesia banned metal ore exports in early 2014 to encourage miners to build smelters to create jobs and shift exports from raw materials to higher-value finished metals. Indonesia’s nickel ore exports had increased sharply before the ban was implemented, hitting about 60 million tonnes in 2013.
But the ban cost Indonesia – once the world’s top nickel ore exporter and a major supplier of bauxite for aluminium – billions of dollars in lost revenue. To get smelters built, though, these rules now need to be changed again, said Teguh Pamudji, secretary general at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, amid ongoing discussions of a mining policy shift.
Under the proposed changes, nickel and bauxite mine permit holders that have committed to building smelters would be allowed to export minerals, he said.
The government has also proposed allowing miners of copper, zinc, lead, manganese and iron to continue to export concentrates until 2022, provided they are building smelters, Pamudji said.
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