Indonesian president Joko Widodo said last week that the country will cease its exports of bauxite ore by year’s end and do the same with copper ore by the close of next year.
In a bid to increase its downstream economy and its exports of semi-finished and finished products, Indonesia will restrict exports of raw materials, instead creating ways to process such ores at home.
The ban on bauxite exports from Indonesia comes after the country cut off all exports of nickel ore at the beginning of 2020.
“After nickel, [we will ban] bauxite export. The regulation is being finalized. We are preparing a smelter,” Widodo explained last week.
“It’s already been 19 months of the surplus trade balance. Where did that come from? From stopping nickel exports. The figure was recorded at US$20.8 billion. In the past, the nickel ore exports were at least US$2 billion a year, which means this is a very high jump.”
Widodo said the rules are in place as the replacement source of energy must come online as soon as possible, most likely in the form of new and renewable energy sources.
“Everything must be developed so that it (the country’s energy) is not only dependent on coal. Indonesia has great potential,” Widodo continued.
Indonesia’s main buyers for its bauxite ore are neighboring Asian countries, including the People’s Republic of China.