Mon, 16 Aug 2010

Kendari, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - South East Sulawesi Governor Nur Alam has told nickel mining investors to contribute US $1.5 to the regional government on every ton of nickel ore they export.

"Investors may extract our mineral resources but they must not forget their responsibility to contribute funds for the improvement of the Southeast Sulawesi people`s welfare," Governor Nur Alam said in Kendari Friday.

The obligation of investors to contribute to local development was laid down in the revised Gubernatorial Regulation Number 9 of 2008 on Contribution to Third Parties that had been in force since mid-2010.

Nur Alam said he would strive to meet the needs of investors, particularly with regard to mining permits and construction of nickel production facilities, ports and factory sites.

"Third party contributions will serve as proof that the mining industry can improve the people`s prosperity. This was proven in 2008 when we got Rp130 billion from PT Antam Tbk., and the money was used to fund the Bahteramas (People`s Prosperity Improvement) program which has been of great benefit to the people," he explained.

In the near future, South East Sulawesi`s provincial government wpuld sign an MoU on contributions by third parties with some mining companies, like PT Cinta Jaya, PT Billy Indonesia, PT Integra Mining Nusantara and PT Kurnia.

"If this is realized, our regional revenue (PAD) will increase. Imagine if their production for instance reached 8.0 million tons that certainly would make the third parties` contributions to reach 100 billion rupiah," he said, considering the benefit the
region can get from nickel mining operations.

Meanwhile, Hakku Wahab, head of the provincial Energy and Mineral Resources office said the contribution obligation would only apply to nickel ore shipments until 2014.

"After 2014 the companies will be required to construct their own factories in accordance with Law No. 4 of 2009 on Mineral Mining. They are also obligated to contribute 5-10 percent of their net income," Hakku said.

According to Hakku, up to now the South East Provincial administration has advised nickel mining companies to construct their own factories for higher added value than merely exporting nickel ore.

He also said there were some companies in South East Sulawesi sending out ore without fulfilling their obligations. The regional energy and mineral resources office had coordinated with the local office of energy and mineral resources to send letters to the companies reminding them of their obligations. Hakku declined to mention the names of the companies.

"They must not merely exploit our resources, while not fulfilling their obligations. We will evaluate such companies," he said.