Indonesia’s mining associations said on Wednesday that they planned to seek a judicial review of the 2009 Mining Law this year if they are unable to reach a solution with the government.
The law’s implementing decree seeks to limit the work that mining companies can outsource to companies not approved by the government and which may not take environmental and other obligations as seriously.
In October, the industry associations said they were confused about the decree and were in talks with government officials. Susanto Joseph, executive director of the Indonesian Mining Services Association, said at the time that the law could lead to a $750 million decline in mining industry revenue this year.
However, those talks have yet to bear fruit.
“We’re currently studying our options regarding the law,” Priyo Pribadi Soemarno, executive director of the Indonesian Mining Association, said on Wednesday. “If our latest discussion with the government doesn’t go anywhere then I think we could ask for a judicial review.”
Article 8 of the implementing decree, states that the mining concession holder is prohibited from using affiliated companies for any service work unless it gets approval from the Energy Ministry.
It means a company like PT Bumi Resources would have to divest its contractor subsidiary, PT Dharma Henwa, if it doesn’t get approval.
Article 10, which states that “the holder of a mining concession or special mining concession must itself perform mining, processing, and refining work,” is particularly problematic, because much of this work is carried out by contractors.
Article 5 states that contracting work must be given to domestic companies for a first right of refusal before foreign companies can be involved.
Bob Kamandanu, chairman of the Indonesian Coal Producers Association (APBI), said mining companies had found some loopholes in the decree.
“On affiliation, I think it can be arranged as the ownership of the affiliated company could be exchanged on paper but the owner could still be the same.” Bob said.
“It creates a headache for us because we have to think of how to overcome the regulation. I prefer the old regulation and I hope there should be some revision of the decree,” he said.