JAKARTA, July 25 (Reuters) - Indonesia approved a new regulation easing the export tax on mineral concentrates for miners planning to build a smelter in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, a finance ministry official said on Friday.
“The finance ministry regulation on the export tax has been signed,” said Deputy Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro.
In January, Indonesia imposed an escalating tax policy, which penalised any company which had not made progress on building a smelter by slapping them with a 25 percent tax on copper concentrate exports or a 20 percent tax on lead, zinc, iron and manganese shipments. The tax was due to increase annually to 60 percent in 2017.
The tax was intended to force miners to develop smelters and mineral processing facilities and part of a government push to derive bigger returns from Indonesia’s mineral resources. But rather than pay it, most miners stopped exporting from Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and one of the world’s top mineral producers.
The government also banned the export of unprocessed ore, and that ban will remain in place. (Reporting by Adriana Nina Kusuma; Writing by Randy Fabi, editing by William Hardy)