Indonesia mining export rule changes needs law revision (Reuters U.S. – December 15, 2016)

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Dec 15 Indonesia needs to revise its mining law to ease a ban on mineral ore exports and is unlikely to meet a deadline of early next year for the change, senior politicians warned on Thursday.

The ore shipments ban, which requires miners to build smelters to process ore locally and halt mineral exports from next month, was implemented in January 2014, although last minute amendments were made to ease its impact.

A revision could allow miners such as the local unit of Freeport McMorRan Inc to export copper concentrate beyond next year’s Jan. 12 deadline. But there was little scope to change the export regulation until the existing law was changed, Luhut Pandjaitan, who oversees energy and mineral resources, said.

“Even if a government regulation is issued, it will be against the law. So, we encourage parliament to review or to fix this mineral law,” Pandjaitan told reporters.

Earlier this year, lawmakers said they hoped to revise the rules by September, giving miners more time to build the smelters required to process ore.

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