PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner PT Antam has welcomed plans by the Indonesian government to relax mineral export regulations.
Last month, Indonesia’s Chief Economic Minister said that the government was looking to relax export rules that which prevent certain companies from exporting semi-processed minerals, from January next year.
Under the 2014 rule, metals miners were only allowed to ship partially processed minerals until January 2017, at which point only exports of refined metals would be allowed.
PT Antam president director Tedy Badrujaman said on Thursday that an unprocessed ore, which was produced as a byproduct from its mining activities, had proven uneconomical to process in its own plants or at other domestic smelters.
However, should this ore be exported, value could be generated.
“As a State-owned enterprise which represents the government’s mineral resources management . . . we are committed to supporting the government’s mineral downstream policy,” Badrajuman said.
He noted that if Antam was given credentials to export nickel ore, the company would allocate its high-grade ore to support domestic smelters, while unprocessed nickel ore, which could not be consumed domestically, would be exported.
“This unprocessed nickel ore has a better nickel grade compared with a nickel ore from the Philippines, so it will be substitute to the Philippines ore if it can be exported.”
Antam has some 988.3-million tonnes of reserves and resources, of which 580-million tonnes are considered high-grade nickel ore and a further 408-million tonnes are considered low-grade nickel ore.