Indonesia May Ban Mining Exports



Disturbing news today from Indonesia is that the country is considering a ban on mineral exports that would have a severe impact to a number of the regions biggest mining companies.

Indonesian miners may face a massive sell off if the law is passed. Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold in Papua, Newmont Mining on the islands of Sulawesi and Sumbawa and Australia’s BHP Billiton are also at risk under the new laws.

The government is drafting a mining regulation that in the next three years could see the export of raw minerals banned, a senior minister has said.

Hatta Rajasa, the country’s top economics minister, said on Friday that the ban could help the government get the country’s miners to build smelters that would boost the value of exports.

“According to a law on minerals and coal, by 2014 we have to have stopped exporting raw ore,” he said.

The ministerial decree would affect gold, nickel, tin, copper and silver, and order all miners in the country to process raw commodities before selling to the overseas market.

Hatta has worked on the policy and is coordinating with his counterparts at the ministries of finance, trade and energy, who would have to approve the plan before it could be implemented.

Thamrin Sihite, director general of coal and minerals at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said the proposed regulation was being discussed.

Some of the world’s biggest mining companies operate in Indonesia, including US-based Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold in Papua, Newmont Mining on the islands of Sulawesi and Sumbawa and Australia’s BHP Billiton in Kalimantan.

Domestic miners include Bumi Resources, the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal, state-owned nickel producer Aneka Tambang and coal miner Adaro Energy.

As an example, Hatta said companies should export ferronickel instead of raw nickel. He also said that copper exports would be required to have 99 percent metal content and coal at least 5,600 kilo calories. Exports of tin, the country’s top commodity, would have to have a metal content of 99.85 percent.

Hatta also said the regulation, which is being called the mining road map, would include the renegotiation of all mining contracts and an audit of mining licenses. According to the minister, one-third of mining companies have been unwilling to renegotiate their contracts.

Shayne Heffernan
Shayne Heffernan oversees the management of funds for institutions and high net worth individuals.
Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.