Indonesia remains a highly important export market for Australia’s mining and mineral processing technology, according to Australian Trade Commission executive director–South Asia, ASEAN and the Pacific, David Twine. In fact, Twine noted that a recent Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) research project rated Indonesia, by a significant margin, as the most important export market for Australia’s mining, equipment and technology (METS) services companies.

Commenting on the strength of Indonesia’s mining industry, Twine said mining is big business for Indonesia and big business for Australian mining firms in Indonesia. “We have seen massive growth in the Indonesian mining sector—they have now overtaken Australia in the export of thermal coal in volume terms. Indonesia is also a major producer of gold, tin, copper and nickel. As the Indonesian mining sector continues to grow and develop, it is very important for Australia to continue to play an active role in the industry.

“On the regulatory side the Indonesian Mining Law has now been in place for a couple of years. There were some concerns about its impact initially, however Australian companies continue to operate very successfully in Indonesia adding real value to the Indonesian economy as well as local communities. We certainly encourage individual businesses to get legal advice about their specific circumstances and potential direct impact as the situation varies from company to company,” Twine said.

“Most of the major mining companies have significant plans for further exploration and development of mining in Indonesia. Newcrest has a US$1.5 billion gold/silver investment in Indonesia. Orica will bring on-line a US$550 million ammonium nitrate plant in East Kalimantan in late 2011. Major Australian mining contractors like Leighton, Laing O’Rourke and Thiess are also undertaking a range of projects.

“There is a lot more to be done and ongoing international demand for Indonesian minerals will ensure that Australia remains an important partner for these companies and the Indonesian mining sector,” Twine said.

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