The government expects $3.2 billion of investment to flow into the mining sector this year as foreign investors turn to Indonesia to capitalize on possible increases in global commodities, an Energy Ministry official said.
A looming increase in global demand for commodities will lure investors, said Bambang Setiawan, director general of mineral, coal and geothermal at the Energy Ministry.
“We are targeting moderate investment in the mining sector this year, at $3.2 billion, slightly higher than last year’s $3.18 billion,” Bambang said on Friday.
Priyo Pribadi, the head of the Indonesian Mining Association, forecast an even more bullish future for the sector, projecting as much as $8 billion in investment.
“I have documented thousands of investments this year,” he said.
Bambang said almost all production of commodities is expected to increase this year.
Tin production is forecast to increase sharply to 95,000 tons this year from 54,646 tons last year, he said.
Coal production is forecast to surge 27 percent to 375 million tons this year from 275 million tons last year.
Bambang also said coal prices would remain high. Recent floods that struck Australia are expected to boost coal prices.
Harvests of several commodities in Indonesia, especially palm oil and rubber, were damaged by the La Nina weather phenomenon, which caused heavy downpours throughout the dry season and reduced supplies, contributing to higher prices.
Data from the Energy Ministry showed the coal price in 6,322 cal/kg is $112.4 per ton, higher than than December’s price of $103.4 per ton.
Analysts claim that uncertainty over regulations will hamper mining investment, and Bambang admitted that land acquisition and environmental rules remain a problem.
The Jakarta Globe reported last month that total investment in the oil and gas industry was estimated to increase 58 percent to $18.9 billion this year from $11.95 billion last year.
Oil production is forecast to reach 955,000 barrels per day this year, lower than the government’s target of 965,000 bpd in 2010.