Indonesian state-run miner PT Antam (Persero) Tbk was granted an initial approval to export up to 2.7 million tonnes of nickel ore for one year, Reuters reported March 29, citing the country's Mineral Enterprise Director Bambang Susigit.
However, the authorization was less than the requested 6 million tonnes of low-grade nickel ore by the miner.
"In terms of administration it's OK. Now all that's left is for it to be signed by the director general," Susigit added.
In 2014, the country imposed a ban on the exports of unprocessed nickel ore in order to boost investments in the local smelting industry.
Indonesia, however, relaxed the ban this year, allowing the miners to export low-grade nickel ore under certain conditions, in exchange for commitments to build smelters in the country.
Susigit also said that feasibility studies for the company's smelter developments needed to be independently verified.
A company spokesperson, however, said Antam was still awaiting the issuance of the official recommendation by the mining ministry.