Indonesia's state news agency Antara reported that the government may review its Mining Law No.4/2009 which stipulates a ban on the export of raw minerals. This controversial new law, through which the government aims to raise more value-added revenues, caused a shockwave across Indonesia's mining sector because a significant amount of mineral exports constitute unprocessed ones. The law, which is set to be implemented on 12 January 2014, implies that minerals need to be processed domestically first before exports are allowed.
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Although the ban on the export of unprocessed minerals, which is set to start on 12 January 2014, is expected to result in a direct revenue loss of USD $4 billion in 2014 due to a decline in mineral exports, Deputy Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro believes that from 2016 onward a trade surplus can be recorded in Indonesia's minerals sector. In 2014, Indonesia's minerals sector may show a USD $10 billion trade deficit. But exports of processed minerals may grow from USD $4.9 billion in 2013 to USD $9 billion in 2015.
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Indonesian President Joko Widodo decided that the Masela liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant will be constructed onshore. Masela, located in the Arafura Sea (Moluccas), is Indonesia's largest deep-water gas project. Previously, Japan-based oil company Inpex Corp and Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell proposed to construct the LNG plant offshore (which would have made it the world's largest floating LNG plant). On Wednesday (23/03) President Widodo rejected the proposal after months of polemic. Contractors Inpex and Shell are not expected to withdraw from the project but will need time to adjust plans.
Indonesia’s state-owned energy company Pertamina and local governments will become the new operators of the Mahakam oil and gas block (located offshore in East Kalimantan) after existing contracts of current operators end on 31 December 2017. The Indonesian government announced on Friday (19/06) that it is to grant Pertamina a 70 percent stake in the Mahakam block, Indonesia’s largest oil and gas block. The current operators of the block are French oil giant Total SA and Japan-based oil firm Inpex Corp, each owning a 50 percent stake.
One of the weak points of Indonesia, one that seriously hurts the country’s investment climate as well as foreign confidence, is regulatory uncertainty. In 2009 the government of Indonesia introduced Law No. 4/2009 on Mineral and Coal Mining (New Mining Law) which caused a shock in Indonesia’s natural resources sector as it includes several new policies that make investors think twice before investing in Indonesia as the consequences of these new policies are far-reaching. However, a possible new amendment to the law causes new concern.
Sudirman Said, Indonesian Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources, announced that state- owned energy company Pertamina will become the new operator of the offshore Mahakam oil & gas block in East Kalimantan starting from 1 January 2018, replacing current operators Total E&P Indonesia (the local unit of France-based Total S.A.) and Japan-based Inpex Corporation as existing contracts expire in 2017. The Ministry, Pertamina, Inpex and Total met on Friday (27/03) to discuss the transition process.
Freeport Indonesia stated that the company's production of copper concentrate plunged since the Indonesian government implemented the ban on exports of unprocessed minerals on 12 January 2014. Currently, Freeport only produces to supply Smelting Gresik, Indonesia's first copper smelter and refinery. As such, Freeport only operates at 45 percent of production capacity regarding copper concentrate. According to Freeport Indonesia's spokeswoman Daisy Primayanti, production of copper concentrate fell to 3,150 tons per day.
After having reported yesterday (26/12) that Indonesia's ban on the export of unprocessed minerals, stipulated in Mining Law No.4/2009 (which is set to become in force from 12 January 2014), may be delayed, more and more signs are pointing towards a postponement of this law. Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Jero Wacik, said that the government is considering to delay the implementation of the law by two or three years as the ban will cause increased unemployment and the cease of mining operations.
Starting from 12 January 2014, the export of all mineral-ores are banned in Indonesia. This controversial new policy, stipulated by the 2009 Mining Law (on Minerals and Coal Mining), was agreed upon by the nine fractions in Commission VII of the Indonesian parliament (DPR). Through this new law, the government intends to increase the value of exports while reducing dependence on raw exports and thus becoming less vulnerable to price downswings on the global commodities market.
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