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Chinese Smelter Assails Indonesia Over U-Turn on Ore Exports

  • Move will increase ore costs, threaten smaller producers
  • ‘Unwise to lift the ban now,’ says Tsingshan venture’s CEO
Steelworkers Work At Chongqing Iron And Steel Factory
Photographer: China Photos/Getty Images
Updated on

A plan by Indonesia to allow shipments of raw mineral ores would inflate local smelting costs and threaten the existence of small producers, according to the head of a Chinese-Indonesian venture, who called the move unwise and said it contradicted promises by the nation’s president.

Easing the export ban would mean local processors would have to compete with foreign buyers for supplies, raising the price of nickel ore, according to Alexander Barus, chief executive officer of Tsingshan Bintangdelapan Group. The company, partly owned by China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, may surpass PT Vale Indonesia this year as the largest nickel producer in the country.