Australian interest in the Indonesian mining sector is on the rise despite stricter laws on foreign investment in the country, Austrade officials say.
According to Fairfax Media Austrade said 45 ASX-listed miners had an interest in 172 projects in Indonesia, up from 38 companies and 140 projects a year ago.
“We haven't seen evidence of wholesale or even partial withdrawal by Australians,” senior trade commissioner Kym Hewett said.
The increased interest comes despite Indonesia's move last year to force foreign miners to sell their ownership in mining projects down to a maximum of 49 per cent within ten years of production.
All metals miners are also required to smelt their ore onshore by next year, but the Government has flagged the possibility of extending this timeframe.
When the changes were first annouced they were met with a mix of shock and skepticism, but miners soon played down the threat of the new regulation.
At the time Intrepid Mines managing director Brad Gordon, who leads a gold, silver, and copper-gold project in Indonesia, said the new rules would not damage the company's bottom line.
“The two clear messages from us are really that the most significant effects of these regulations won't occur until well into the future — at least 10 years or more. Secondly the divestment will be done at a fair, commercial value. So it won't be value destructive,” he said.