Indonesia was one of the world's four major tin producers, behind Brazil but close in ore production to Malaysia and China in the late 1980s. Tin ore production was centered on Bangka Island, part of Sumatera Selatan Province. New exploration was planned in 1989 on Sumatra and offshore Bangka Island. Indonesia is a member of the Association of Tin Producing Countries and was required in FY 1989 to restrict tin exports to no more than 31,500 tons as part of the association's Supply Rationalization Scheme. The government enterprise P.T. Timah controlled the majority of tin mining and, together with an Australian mining firm, operated a tin smelter in Muntok, located in northwestern Bangka Island. In 1989 the smelter, which had a capacity of 32,500 tons per year, produced 29,900 tons of refined tin from local ore. In the late 1980s, Indonesia exported 80 percent of its tin production. Some tin ore was shipped to Malaysia for processing, although tin metal was shipped primarily to Singapore. Most of the growing domestic tin consumption was used in tin plating and for solder. Official proven reserves of tin were 740 million tons.
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