An ongoing wrangle over licenses for mining traders could hurt investment, a coal mining association chief said on Thursday.
“It will create a negative impression for coal mining investors in the future,” Supriatna Suhala, executive director of the Indonesian Coal Mining Association (APBI), said on Thursday.
A new mining law requires traders to convert their old permits to the mining business license issued by the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry before they are allowed to ship products overseas, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
The law was passed in 2009 with the aim of controlling minerals and coal mining.
Djunaedi, head of mining exports at the Trade Ministry, said the delay in issuing trading permits had disrupted commodity exports.
He said the Energy Ministry halted the process for giving out the licenses while waiting for Energy Minister Darwin Zahedi Saleh to sign off on the licenses.
Witoro Soelarno, secretary to the director general of coal and minerals, said the new law required traders to have permits to ship products. “Smuggling might happen if we don’t control our administration database,” he told the Jakarta Globe.
The government issues different licenses to miners, sellers and traders. Companies that ship coal or other mining products are considered traders.
Supriatna said traders had filed a protest with the Energy Ministry but refused to say how many. The APBI also sent a protest letter to Darwin.
“I think the problem is with the minister, because the licenses must be signed by the minister. He must delegate it to the Directorate General of Mining and Coal,” Supriatna said.
The pending licenses could force delays and cost traders Rp 15 million ($1,670) per day in penalties.
To avoid that and continue exporting, he said, some traders who lack the proper license are using a miner’s license to export coal, which is illegal under the new law.