Indonesia's next leader seen unlikely to ease tough mineral export rules

|By:, SA News Editor

Indonesia's next president is unlikely to make major changes to the country's controversial mining rules that have frustrated Freeport McMoRan (FCX) and Newmont Mining (NEM), as the top political parties tell Reuters they support the current government's moves to ban mineral exports and tax concentrate shipments aimed at forcing miners to build smelters in Indonesia.

Opinion polls show the party of the most popular presidential contender fully supports the new mining laws and apparently would not significantly revise them; the two most likely challengers hold similar opinions.

FCX has cut copper output by 60% in the country due to a prolonged dispute over the export tax imposed by the current president, who is barred from running for a third term.