Indonesia’s new mining rules to improve the economy in 2017

Indonesian government has issued a new regulation that will allow miners to export as long as they show progress toward building smelters in a five-year period. Investors and analysts had expected Indonesia to continue allowing exports of mineral concentrates, but the government surprised markets by allowing limited amounts of nickel ore and bauxite.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said the new rules were aimed at improving the economy and creating jobs. The restrictions had hit exports and revenues from mining.

The development will come as some relief to China—the world’s largest metals producer—as Indonesia was the largest supplier of nickel ore and bauxite before the ban imposed three years ago.

Indonesia imposed the ban in 2014 but allowed concessions for some exports of mineral concentrates, such as copper, following protests from miners. Those concessions expired on Wednesday.

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