Jakarta. Indonesia’s minister of mines has called for stronger regulation of the sector, amid claims the country has lost more than Rp 58 trillion ($4.2 billion) from illegal mining of tin alone between 2008 and 2013.
“The problem in mining is our responsibility. We should not blame each other or refuse to help each other,” Sudirman Said, the minister for energy and mineral resources, told the Mineral and Coal II Leaders Forum in Pangkalpinang, the provincial capital of Bangka-Belitung, Indonesia’s tin-mining hub, over the weekend.
Indonesia is the world’s largest tin producer, and Bangka-Belitung produces about 90 percent of the nation’s tin.
However, state-owned miner Timah, which has a heavy presence in the region, says it loses up to 80 metric tons of the metal every day due to illegal miners operating in its concession.
Timah president director Sukrisno, citing international industry group ITRI, says that of the 593,404 tons of tin that Indonesia produced between 2008 and 2013, some 352,000 tons went unreported.
He said that, assuming a tin ore price of $15,000 per ton and a rupiah exchange rate of 11,000 to the US dollar, Indonesia lost Rp 58 trillion in potential sales. Timah’s share of that figure is close to Rp 21 trillion, Sukrisno said.