UPDATE 1-Indonesia nickel ore export ban to remain -mining ministry director

JAKARTA, June 4 (Reuters) – Indonesia will keep in place a ban on the export of nickel ore even as it relaxes exports of some other minerals under revisions to its mining law, the director of minerals at the countrys energy and minerals ministry said on Thursday.

Indonesias parliament passed revisions to its mining law last month, allowing miners building smelters to export ore for the next three years. But the revisions stipulated that the government can rule against the export of specific ores under a separate regulation.

This will not be applicable to nickel, nickel ore exports will continue to be banned, director Yunus Saefulhak told Reuters by text message.

The new mining law will also allow miners to extend permits and seek expansion of mining areas beyond current legal limits, stoking concern and protests among environmentalists and transparency watchdogs.