Indonesia may have to wait for a potential massive inflow of new investment into the mining sector
due to delays in preparing the implementing regulations needed to make the revised mining law
“The formulation of the implementing regulations involve various departments. Thus, I cannot guarantee the implementing regulations can be finished by January next year,” said Witoro Soelarno, the secretary to the directorate general for minerals, coal and geothermal energy at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.
Under the new mining law, endorsed by lawmakers in December last year, the government is required to issue four implementing regulations respectively for mining areas, coal and minerals businesses, mining supervision and finally on reclamation and post-mining issues.
The law also requires that the implementing regulations be issued within one year of its enactment
Witoro said the draft regulations involved several difficult points.
“One of the complicated issues that we have yet to reach an agreement is about land planning.”
The Indonesia Mining Association (IMA) executive director, Priyo Pribadi Soemarno, said a delay in the issuing of implementing regulations would obviously slow investment.
“This will create uncertainty for investors, and they will miss the momentum for investment,” he said.
According to Priyo, the lack of legal certainty will affect both existing contract holders and those seeking to obtain mining licenses.
In an earlier interview, Priyo said there were five mining projects already in the pipeline but on hold due to problems with license approvals from both central and regional governments. The projects are estimated to have an investment value of between US$8 and $10 billion.
These investments include Rio Tinto’s nickel project in Central Sulawesi; PT Dairi Timah Mineral’s zinc and lead project in North Sumatra; and PT Meares Soputan Mining’s gold project in North Sulawesi. Two other projects are those operated by state mining company PT Aneka Tambang (Antam); a bauxite project in Tayan, West Kalimantan, and a nickel project in Buli, Halmahera.
This year the government expects to book a modest $2.15 billion in investment in the mining sector, up from $1.65 billion last year.