March 23, 2015 / 5:53 AM / 5 years ago

Indonesia says may ease bauxite export ban to help fund new smelters

JAKARTA, March 23 (Reuters) - Indonesia is looking at easing its mineral export ban for bauxite producers to help promote the building of smelters, a mines ministry official said on Monday.

Early last year Southeast Asia’s largest economy put in place export restrictions aimed at forcing mining firms to develop smelting and processing facilities so that Indonesia could refine all its own raw ores and concentrates.

“We need a breakthrough in the law to accelerate bauxite smelter development,” Said Didu, head of the national smelter development team at the energy and mineral resources ministry told reporters.

“To accelerate bauxite smelter development, they should pay a guarantee bond to develop smelters to the government.”

Last month, Indonesia said it may push back a total ban on exports of copper and other mineral concentrates due to come into effect in January 2017 if miners have not built new domestic smelters in time.

Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Michael Taylor

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