Indonesia gearing for mineral export ban

Jan 06, 2014 | 12:49 PM | Shivani Singh

Tags  Indonesia export ban, bauxite, nickel, copper, alumina, iron ore, Shivani Singh

SINGAPORE — A last-minute presidential or Supreme Court intervention might add another dimension to the much talked about and hugely convoluted Indonesian minerals export ban, which is slated for a Jan. 12 rollout but isn’t yet set in stone.

The argument about the need for resource nationalism isn’t unique to Indonesia, but the country still needs infrastructure—including roads, ports and energy plants—to be able to attract more investment in the downstream industry.

If the ban goes through, shipments of minerals—including nickel ore, copper, bauxite and gold—will be affected to varying degrees.

The government will issue a regulation before Jan. 12 noting the minerals that can be exported, but it isn’t yet clear if big producers like Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., Phoenix, and Greenwood, Colo.-based Newmont Mining Corp. will be able to ship copper concentrates after this date.

There have been various lobbying efforts by companies and officials alike to delay the ban, clarify it or allow for exports if there were plans for building downstream plants.

Three broad scenarios—a complete ban on Jan. 12, a partial ban or postponing the ban—are being widely discussed in the market.

In December, the Indonesian parliament voted against changing the 2009 Mining Law and said the export ban would proceed as scheduled.....

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