Gov't to Audit Tin Smelters  

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1 January 1970 07:00 WIB

A worker processes nickel at a nickel smelter near Sorowako, Indonesia's Sulawesi island, in this January 8, 2014. REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will audit tin mining activities and the operation of tin smelters in Bangka-Belitung Province starting next week. Bambang Gatot Ariyono, the ministry's coal and mineral director general, said eight tin smelters will be audited.

The audit results will determine the completeness and eligibility status (clean and clear) of a smelter. "This type of audit is our first," he said on Tuesday, February 2.

Bambang said that a team of auditors will compare each smelter's capacity with the production capacity. If the production data does not match the capacity of the smelted mining goods, the auditor team will conduct a thorough investigation over the sales of the processed goods.

The reason for this audit, said the ministry's Inspector General Mochtar Husain, is the suspicion that some smelters may have production excess because they collect the goods that were mined illegally.

In conducting the audit, the Energy Ministry will coordinate with the local government, who is in charge of supervising the activity of companies with Mining Business Licenses (IUP).

One of the tin smelters that will be audited, Mochtar said, belongs to state-owned miner PT Timah (Persero) Tbk.

Agung Nugroho, corporate secretary of PT Timah, said the company supports the government's plan to audit tin smelters. The audit, he said, can prevent the practices of illegal tin exports, which will help boost prices.

Agung said that PT Timah is free of illegally-mined tin, and that their shipment is registered with and approved by the Trade Ministry of Commerce.

"Our installed capacity is 60,000 tons. We can guarantee that our production matches [the smelting capacity]," said Agung.

Tin prices have been on a downtrend since 2014. Last year, tin price fell US$20,000 to US$13,000 per ton. Prices are down because of declining demand from a number of countries, while the supply of illegal tin continues to flood international markets.

According to Agung, illegal tin mining practice in Bangka-Belitung is rampant. In the area PT Timah works in, he said, there are 6,400 illegal miners digging up tin in 1,600 points.

ROBBY IRFANY



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