Indonesia has awarded mineral export permits to 13 companies in the month after restrictive rules on such shipments kicked in, marking a slow approval rate that threatens to leave its customers scrambling for supplies in coming weeks.
Indonesia, one of the world’s major metals exporters, in May asked all miners to submit plans to build smelters to add value to its mining sector ahead of a 2014 ban on raw mineral exports, while also imposing a tax of 20 percent on ore exports.
It is looking to derive more revenue from a sector that already contributes around 12 percent of GDP, and also wants to encourage raw materials to be processed domestically.
“There are 13 companies who have got mineral export permit from the trade ministry as of June 22,” Deddy Saleh, director general of foreign trade at the trade ministry, said on Friday.
“Until now, the trade ministry has received 107 recommendations from the energy ministry to be approved as mineral registered exporters,” said Saleh, who was unable to give a list of company names.
Miners to have received export permits include Newmont Corp, PT Aneka Tambang, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, PT Sebuku Iron Lateritic Ores and PT Sambas Mineral Mining.
Southeast Asia’s largest economy is the top exporter of refined tin and thermal coal and home to the world’s second largest copper mine.
Indonesia produced 14 percent of world nickel ore output, 15 percent of bauxite ore and 3 percent of copper ore in 2011, industry data show. Most is exported raw to be processed into metals and products overseas, with Indonesia a major supplier to China and Japan.
China’s imports of bauxite jumped to a record 6.27 million tonnes in May, as importers rushed to stock up ahead of the curbs on shipments that are likely to dent June numbers.
The new regulations are costing the country’s export industry up to $164 million a month in lost sales of nickel and bauxite, one Indonesian industry body said.