According to local reports, 60-year-old Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Widjajono Partowidagdo passed away while climbing the Mount Tambora located on Sumbawa island.
A report in News.com.au stated that a presidential spokesman had confirmed Partowidagdo’s death to AFP.
“The president has been informed by the energy and minerals minister ... that his deputy minister Widjajono Partowidagdo (has) passed away,” the spokesman was quoted as saying.
Partowidagdo was the driving force behind Indonesia’s aim to tighten its mining regulations, reports stated.
He was a key proponent in the government’s upcoming decision on whether to tax most raw minerals leading up to a blanket ban proposed for 2014.
According to News.com.au, a search and rescue team were notified that Partowidagdo had collapsed on the hike but his recovery was delayed due to heavy fog.
Indonesia is no stranger to renewing its mining reforms.
In February, amendments enacted by the Indonesian Ministry of Mining and Energy stated that foreign-owned companies which held mining permits in Indonesia had to begin divesting stakes to Indonesian entities once the mine was in its sixth year of production.
It means a mine in its sixth year of production will require a divestment of 20%, while a mine in its 10th year of production will be obligated to divest 51%.
The announcement was a major blow for foreign companies with stakes in Indonesian assets and it was expected to affect junior and low-cap mining companies the hardest.