So, there is no problem for Indonesia to develop its smelting industry."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian business makers support the government`s policy to increase the number of mineral and coal smelters, saying smelters constitute a pioneering industry.

"The government is adopting a policy to increase the number of smelter industries based on Law No.4/2013 (on mineral, coal, and geothermal energy), Presidential Instruction No.3/2013 and the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry`s Regulation No. 7/2012," Natsir Mansur, the president director of PT Indosmelt, said here on Monday.

Natsir said that the smelters that the government would build included smelter industries on copper/gold, aluminum, nickel, iron, mineral and others because these industries produced raw materials for downstream industries at home.

"So far, Indonesia has imported some 80 percent of raw materials to meet the need of downstream industries for the commodities at home," he said.

Natsir who is also a deputy chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) for regional empowerment and logistics affairs, said that Kadin appreciated the government efforts (in this case the ministries of economy, energy and mineral resources and industry) to boost the development of downstream industries through increasing the number of smelter industries.

The construction of smelters varied depending on kinds of metal minerals that would be processed and produced. For national business-makers it is not a difficult thing to build a smelter industry. What is important is that the government should be firm and consistent with the application of the policy which supports the development of the smelting industry.

"They must be firm, consistent and clear because smelting business is pioneering industry with huge investment, long term and high technology. So, legal certainty and other incentives are needed," said Natsir.

He said that Indonesia had huge mineral, coal and geothermal reserves that in the coming four to 30 years Indonesia should have become domestically processed mineral goods producer for the world needs such as copper-end product of cathode and gold for foreign exchange reserves and for export.

Indonesia`s gold foreign exchange reserves at Bank Indonesia (BI/the central bank) are only 90 tons while those of the United States and China respectively reach 4,000 tons and 3,500 tons.

Indonesia also has the opportunity to supply the world with aluminum and nickel products.

"So, there is no problem for Indonesia to develop its smelting industry," stressed Natsir.

For this reason, he said, the Kadin hoped that 2014 would serve as the starting point for the awakening of Indonesia`s mineral and coal industrial development so that Indonesia`s exports in the coming 30 years would be realized.

He said that the scheme could be successful only if the government, private firms and state-owned enterprises worked and cooperate together and were aware of the importance of smelters for Indonesia, particularly for national economic players.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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