Large Scale Mineral Exploration and New Mining Development Prospects in Indonesia

Author : S. Sigit
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 289-296
Volume Number : 6
Year : 1973

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 6, Jul, 1973, pp. 289 – 296

Large Scale Mineral Exploration and New Mining Development Prospects in Indonesia


Ministry of Mines, Djakarta, Indonesia


Abstract: Since the outbreak of the Pacific War untiI 1967, no large scale and systematic mineral exploration activities were carried out in Indonesia. With the changes of the political situation and the Government‘s economic policy since then, international companies became interested in the development possibilities of the country‘s natural resources. Anticipating that major international companies would welcome the opportunity of undertaking large-scale mineral exploration in the mostly still unprospected parts of the country, the Indonesian Government adopted an unconventional exploration concept, to make up for lost time.

In addition to tenders that had been issued earlier for the exploration and development of the tin resources in the western part of the archipelago and the extensive lateritic nickel deposits in several regions in the eastern part of the country, the Government at the end of 1967 issued a worldwide announcement that competitive bidding was open for private companies for the exploration of 53 separate units of potential mineral-bearing land, each averaging 9,000 to 10,000 square kilometers.

Positive responses were received from quite a number of major foreign companies. Selected companies are granted exclusive exploration rights and exploitation rights as well, in case exploration leads to the discovery of one or more commercially exploitable mineral deposit or deposits. Companies who are granted exclusive exploration rights are obliged to submit to the Government quarterly progress reports on the results of their exploration activities and geological maps of the investigated areas on the scale of 1:250,000 together with attendant reports.

Under such mutually attractive arrangements, there were until the end of 1971, 14 foreign companies carrying out large-scale mineral exploration programmes in various parts of lndonesia. Their activities, employing modern mapping and exploration techniques, covered a total area of 400,000 square kilometers not including exploration for oil and gas.

While the ultimate purpose of these exploration programmes is the eventual development of economic mineral deposits, the intermediate but not the least important gain for the Government is the invaluable collection of geological and mineral exploration data assembled by private companies.