The Indonesian government is scrambling to finalize government regulations intended to ease risks from an imminent ban on mineral export, including minimizing layoffs in the sector, officials said here on Friday.
"The regulations are being finalized, all have been prepared. Please wait (for the issuance), if it is not today (Friday) or Saturday, it is going to be Sunday," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told reporters at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry on Friday.
"We will prevent its impacts from hitting too hard, including prevention of layoff from happening," he stressed.
The ban on unprocessed mineral ore exports aims to boost Indonesia's long-term return from its mineral wealth, but officials fear a plunge in shipment could widen the current account deficit, which has undermined investor confidence and battered the rupiah, and lead to massive layoffs in the industry.
Rupiah has depreciated against the dollar by over 26 percent last year and was traded at the level of 12,100 at present, according to the country's central bank.
About 400,000 workers have already lost jobs at the bauxite and iron ore mining sectors, according to Chairman of Indonesian Bauxite and Iron Ores Entrepreneurs Association Umbu S. Samapaty.
On Wednesday, Director General of Coal and Minerals at the ministry R. Sukhyar said that the ministry proposed that miners will be given flexibility to export concentrate or processed minerals until 2017. After 2017, they will only be allowed to export metal or refined mineral.