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South Korea, Japanese firms asked to build smelters in Indonesia

(Xinhua)

08:31, April 11, 2012

JAKARTA, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat said on Tuesday that he has asked South Korea and Japanese firms to build smelters in Indonesia for processing mining products before they were exported, in a bid to get an added value.

The government plans to ban shipments of unprocessed metals and lower grade coal in 2014 to boost the downstream industry in the country.

Hidayat said that the government would guarantee smooth supplies of raw materials and electricity for the smelters, which have been in shortage in Indonesia.

"We will guarantee the supply of unprocessed mining product and energy and the supply of electricity," Hidayat said at the industry ministry.

Indonesia is the world's biggest exporter of refined tin and thermal coal, home to the world's second-largest copper mine and largest gold mine.

But the country only has one copper smelter, and this smelting capacity shortage is mirrored for other metals.

The minister said that he had asked Japanese and South Korea firms to stop importing unprocessed mining products from Indonesia and soon build smelters here.

The move aims at helping the government efforts to reduce unemployment and boost revenue from mining sectors.

"So that the firms export processed products, which means Indonesia gets the added value," he said.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said last week he expected an increase of state revenue from specific mining sectors, nevertheless he warned that a blanket tax on all mining industries would be counter-productive.

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