Indonesia's mining ministry looks to ease mineral export ban
JAKARTA Jan 8 (Reuters) - Indonesia's mining ministry on Wednesday sought to ease a looming mineral export ban by proposing a regulation that would allow shipments of mineral ore concentrates to continue until 2017.
"The (mining) ministry proposed that miners will be given flexibility to export concentrate or processed minerals until 2017," Sukhyar, director general of coal and minerals, told reporters.
"After 2017, they will only be allowed to export metal or refined mineral."
The proposal has been submitted to the chief economic minister and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for approval.
Under a ban due to take effect on Sunday, mining companies must process their ore before shipping it overseas, a measure initially passed in 2009 to boost the value of exports from Indonesia, the world's top exporter of nickel ore, thermal coal and refined tin.
(Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Editing by Richard Pullin)