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Copper February 19, 2015 06:00:47 AM

Indonesia likely to delay ban on copper concentrates export

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
According to senior official belonging to Indonesian Mining Ministry, the country may be forced to delay the proposed export ban on copper and other mineral concentrates
Indonesia likely to delay ban on copper concentrates export

JAKARTA (Scrap Monster):  According to senior official belonging to Indonesian Mining Ministry, the country may be forced to delay the proposed export ban on copper and other mineral concentrates. The Ministry had earlier stated that the ban would come into effect in January 2017, if the miners fail to build domestic smelters.

The country intends to put restrictions on export of concentrates in an attempt to refine all its raw ores and concentrates instead of being exported to smelters in other countries. Early last year, the Coal and Minerals Director General Sukhyar had warned miners to face export restrictions if domestic smelters are not in place by 2017.

According to the Ministry, the construction of smelters will take more time. The construction of Papua smelter is expected to get completed only by 2020. This may force the Ministry to extend the deadline of export ban on ore concentrates including copper beyond 2017. However, the ban on unprocessed nickel and bauxite will not have any change, the Ministry noted.

Freeport’s proposed expansion of Gresik copper smelter is expected to complete within the set deadline. However, all the copper miners in the country may find it difficult to come up with their own smelters before the end of the deadline. The Ministry believes that rather than building own smelters, the miners could work towards joint smelter plans. A meeting has been called this week to discuss the plan. Earlier this week, the Ministry had pushed back on its demand for Freeport to build a new copper smelter in Papua province.

According to estimates, the country’s copper concentrate output is expected to cross 2.2 million tonnes by 2018.