JAKARTA May 2 Indonesia's state-controlled
miner PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) will resume exports of
nickel ore this month, with an initial shipment of 150,000
tonnes expected to leave for China in early May, a company
executive said on Tuesday.
The nickel shipment in May will be Antam's first after a
three-year halt due to a government ban on raw mineral exports
imposed in early 2014.
Antam, which has 5 million tonnes of low-grade wet nickel
ore available for immediate shipping, also requested on Tuesday
permission from the mining ministry to export an additional 3.7
million tonnes of nickel ore over the next year.
The company has already received official approval to export
2.7 million tonnes of nickel ore over the 12 months from
end-March, all of which will be bound for China, one of the
world's biggest consumers of the metal.
"The first shipment of three vessels is being loaded right
now," Antam director Hari Widjajanto told reporters.
"We hope it will leave in early May," he said.
Antam is planning to ramp up production from last year's
1.63 million tonnes to 9 million tonnes in 2017, Widjajanto
Since the government announced plans to roll back its ban on
mineral exports on Jan. 12, nickel prices on the London
Metal Exchange are down roughly 10 percent or just over $1,000 a
The ban on raw mineral exports was imposed in 2014 to
encourage investment in value-added smelting projects but the
restriction hurt miners like Antam and government revenues.
The government missed its 2016 revenue target by $17.6
billion, according to unaudited budget data from the finance
(Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Editing by Tom Hogue)