January 8, 2014 / 11:58 AM / in 4 years

Indonesian export rule may cause mass layoffs at bauxite mines

JAKARTA, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Up to 200,000 workers at bauxite mines in Indonesia may be laid off under proposed new rules on mineral processing due to come into effect on Sunday, an official from the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce told reporters on Wednesday.

Earlier, the mining ministry met with industry associations to discuss processing requirements that are intended to push miners to develop downstream processing facilities and give Southeast Asia’s largest economy a greater return for the minerals it produces.

However, under the proposed changes, bauxite ore exports would still be completely banned from January 12, said Didie Suwondho, chairman of the Chamber’s special taskforce for mineral processing, with only exports of smelter-grade alumina, chemical-grade alumina and aluminium to be allowed.

“We think this situation will result in layoffs of between 150,000 and 200,000 workers,” Suwondho said.

Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Fergus Jensen

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