Indonesia's mining minister told parliament on Wednesday that despite the looming export ban, some raw materials would continue to be exported next year as companies struggle to build smelters to process ore in the country. The resource-rich country had planned to ban all exports of metal ore from June to encourage investment in local processing.
Arifin Tasrif, Indonesia's energy minister, said copper, iron ore, lead, zinc and copper concentrate anode slime could still be exported until May next year. As a result, most smelters delayed by the outbreak need to be prepared to handle the material. He says a premature ban on exports costs the country revenue and jobs. Companies can continue exporting if export taxes are paid and their smelters are at least half built by January. But delays could result in monthly fines, Arifin said.
The Indonesian government said Freeport Indonesia and Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara were exempt from the ban because their smelter construction had also been delayed because of the outbreak.