Indonesia's downstream policy


2024 Copper export ban

The government decided to pospone copper export ban until May 2024 for PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) and PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara (AMNT) because the smelters being built by the two largest copper producers in Indonesia have not been completed. Thus, there is fear that the export ban will cause oversupply of millions of tons of copper ore and concentrates.

Previously, President Joko Widodo decided to stop exports of copper ores and concentrates effective from June 2023. The aim is to develop domestic downstream industry. In 2021, China was the world's largest importers of copper from Indonesia, followed by Japan, EU, South Korea, Germany, Spain, India, Bulgaria, Finland and Sweden.

According to Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Arifin Tasrif, the pandemic has hampered the construction of the two smelters. The government, which has a controlling stake (51%) in PTFI, stated that the export ban policy could cause a potential loss of up to Rp 57 trillion.

However, Arifin stressed that the two companies are serious about completing their smelters. PTFI has realized 62.5 percent of its US$ 2.4 billion investment commitment and the progress of the construction has reached about 60 percent. Arifin revealed that the relaxation of the export ban came with a condition, that PTFI and AMNT must accelerate the construction of the smelters.

In the meantime, the ESDM Ministry will prepare a regulation in the form of ministerial regulation as a legal basis for the extension of copper export permits for PTFI and AMNT until May 2024 so it does not violate Law 3/2020 on Mining. Article 170A of the Law stipulates that the export of unrefined mineral products is valid for a maximum of three years after the law was passed. Arifin said that the issuance of the ministerial regulation is a middle ground without having to revise the law.
—Ekawati (May 2023) "Indonesia postpones copper export ban to next year" Independent Observer Vol. 06 No. 264