Jakarta (ANTARA News)- The government has predicted that investment in general and geothermal mining may reach over US$1.5 billion in 2007, while that in 2006 reached only $1.307 billion, a spokesman said.
The increase was likely caused by investment of the mining companies, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry`s mineral, coal and geothermal management program chief Bambang Setiawan said here Tuesday.
"With the increasing metal and coal mining commodity prices, the existing mining companies should be able to increase their investments," he said.
He said there might be no new investment in the mining sector in 2007 due to an absence of a law on minerals and coal, not to mention the unfavorable forestry regulations.
Meanwhile, mineral, coal and geothermal business management division chief MS Marpaung said his office had already asked some mining companies including Newmont Nusa Tenggara and Freeport Indonesia to raise their investments.
Some mining firms have given a positive response and have started seeking fund resources for their investment, he said.
If investment could be raised in 2007, the companies concerned would be able to boost their production in the next two years, he said.
"Direct investment will not only provide the country with profits, but will also create a favorable chain of economic impacts," he said.
Investment in general and geothermal mining in 2006 reached $1.306 billion, which was 38 percent increase compared to $945 million in 2005.
The 2006 investment consisted of $1.125 in mineral and coal mining, and $181.07 million in geothermal mining.
The increase in investment in mineral and coal mining came from holders of contracts of work amounting to $778 million, coal mining concessionaires $275 million and the mining rights of state enterprises $72.11 million. (*)