Indonesia's acting Director General of Mining and Coal ("DGMC") has issued a letter to the country's provincial Governors to emphasize that the moratorium on the issuance of new mining licenses is still in place.
DGMC letter No. 809/30.01/DJB/2020 ("DGMC Letter 809/2020"), issued July 9, 2020, emphasizes the transitional provision of Article 173C of Law No. 3 of 2020 regarding Amendment to Law No. 4 of 2009 regarding Mineral and Coal Mining ("Law 3/2020"). Article 173C of Law 3/2020 contemplates a moratorium on the issuance of new mining licenses by both the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources and Governors.
This new letter is subsequent to DGMC letter No. 742/30.01/DJB/2020 dated June 18, 2020 ("DGMC Letter 742/2020"), which also serves to emphasize the transitional provision of Article 173C of Law 3/2020 and contains similar provisions to DGMC Letter 809/2020. That earlier letter stipulated as follows:
1. Governors shall not issue new mining licenses (for mineral and coal mining) for six months as of June 10, 2020, the date Law 3/2020 was promulgated, or until the implementing regulations for Law 3/2020 are issued.
2. Governors may, however, continue to process, according to their legal authority, licensing and non-licensing applications submitted by holders of existing mining licenses, limited to:
a. conversion of mining business license (izin usaha pertambangan or "IUP") for exploration to an IUP for Production Operation;
b. extension of existing licenses, including extension of IUP for Production Operation specifically for transportation and sales;
c. adjustment of existing licenses due to change of capital investment status;
d. approval and recommendation related to the exercise of supervisory and advisory functions for mineral and coal mining business activities, such as approval of annual workplan and budget, approval of Chief Mine Officer (Kepala Teknik Tambang) and/or Deputy Chief Mine Officer (Wakil Kepala Teknik Tambang), approval of blasting permit (Kartu Izin Meledakkan), and approval of storage for explosives.
In DGMC Letter 742/2020, the acting DGMC further states that Governors shall not process applications submitted to Governors prior to June 10, 2020, which licenses based on such applications have not been issued.
DGMC Letter 809/2020 and DGMC Letter 742/2020 were issued to implement the provisions of Article 173C of Law 3/2020.
It is worth noting that Article 35 (i) and (iv) of Law 3/2020 shifts the mining license issuing authority to the central government pending the issuance of regulations delegating such authority to regional governments. It remains to be seen what the consequence will be, if any, for the mining license moratorium if the six months lapse and no implementing regulations for Law 3/2020 are issued.
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