JAKARTA Nov 22 Indonesia's constitutional court
partially upheld the latest challenge to the country's mining
laws on Thursday, in a verdict that sees regional governments
gaining more control over the use of land for mining.
This is the fourth challenge to the country's mining law
this year, reflecting a growing tussle for resource revenues
from the world's top exporter of thermal coal, refined tin and
The case, brought by H. Isran Noor, the head of coal-rich
East Kutai regency, sees regional governments gaining more say
in the zoning of mining areas, but will not have major impacts
on the industry, mining legal experts say.
"The challenge to the provisions of the 2009 Mining Law
dealing with mining areas will, most probably, not have much
impact as it should not undermine the status of already issued
IUPs," licensed foreign advocate Bill Sullivan said, referring
to mining permits.
The ruling creates uncertainty over what criteria are used
by regional administrations to determine mining areas, Rick
Beckmann senior foreign legal counsel at law firm Norton Rose,
said, adding that the issue of mining permits for foreign
investment companies (PMAs) could also be a grey area.
"It's not like the BPMigas decision, but it certainly will
cause some confusion," Beckmann said, referring to the recent
constitutional court verdict that dissolved Inonesia's oil and
Indonesia's mining law may face a fifth review in the coming
months according to lawyers for Indonesia's second-largest
Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah, the same group that filed the
case against BPMigas.
East Kutai is home to a site owned by London-listed
Churchill Mining that has taken a dispute over its
mining permit to international arbitration.