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Indonesia Allows Underground Mining in Forests, Minister Says

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May 30 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last week issued a decree allowing underground mining in some protected forests for coal and minerals, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said.

“The ruling is aimed at improving existing management of forest use for mining,” Hasan said at Coaltrans Asia Conference in Bali. “Miners must have mining and land-use permits from the local administration and forestry ministry to operate in protected forests.”

Primary forests and peatlands are excluded from the decree, as the government has imposed a two-year ban on mining and expansion of plantations in those areas, Hasan said.

Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of power station-coal and tin and is rich with other minerals such as copper, nickel and bauxite.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dinakar Sethuraman in Singapore at dinakar@bloomberg.net; Yoga Rusmana in Jakarta at yrusmana@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net.

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