Indonesia will follow through in June on plans to ban exports of bauxite, cobalt and tin as part of its strategy to draw more economic benefits from its rich natural resources, Arifin Tasrif, the country's energy and mining minister, said April 15 in an interview.
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Indonesia is playing an increasingly significant role in the energy transition with its world's largest nickel production and other large reserves of minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries and other electrification technologies.
"What we are not allowing is exporting raw materials because these minerals are not renewable," Tasrif told S&P Global Commodity Insights on the sidelines of the G7 Ministers' Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment in Sapporo, northern Japan. "We have 270 million people, and it's growing by the year. How can we fulfil their needs? We have to create jobs. To create jobs, we have to develop projects and economic activities.
"While we are not allowing to export the raw material, we welcome partners to work together with us, create value together and then also share the benefit."
The ban on copper concentrate exports is expected to have a significant impact on Japanese and South Korean smelters, which have become major consumers of Indonesian concentrate, according to S&P Global.
Indonesia's nickel ore bans in 2014 and 2020 have attracted foreign stainless steel, battery and car makers to build a supply chain from nickel mining and smelting to battery and even EV manufacturing.
Critical mineral cooperation
Indonesia was invited by the G7 to join the Sapporo meeting as the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.
G7 leaders have stressed the need to cooperate on critical minerals development to meet climate goals and protect against supply risks like Russia's war in Ukraine.
The International Energy Agency, which also joined the Sapporo talks, has warned that current climate targets depend too heavily on metals concentrated in a few countries like China and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Tasrif acknowledged that mining practices have left environmental damage in his country but maintained that his government was now on the right track.
"We realize the effect of the pollution," Tasrif said. "We don't want it, it will directly affect our people. So we have to make strict regulation, tight control and then apply such kind of close scrutiny to the people who are not obeying the regulation."
On Indonesia's Abadi LNG development, Tasrif said he expects first production in 2028 or 2029. Japan's INPEX submitted April 4 a revised plan for the project, aiming to start front-end engineering design work by the end of 2023.
INPEX is working to integrate a carbon capture and storage (CCS) component after Tasrif's ministry in March enacted regulations on CCS in the oil and gas business.