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Jakarta Post

Freeport still open to develop smelter in Sumbawa

  • Viriya P. Singgih

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 8, 2018   /   06:52 pm
Freeport still open to develop smelter in Sumbawa PTFI executive vice president Tony Wenas (right) speaks during a hearing at the House of Representatives’ Commission VII overseeing mining affairs in Jakarta on Wednesday. (Antara/Hafidz Mubarak A)

Gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) is still open to build a new smelter in Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara, even though the company has officially submitted a proposal to the government to develop such a facility in Gresik, East Java.

PTFI has pledged to develop the new smelter, worth US$2.2 billion, inside the Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate in Gresik by 2022. The facility will have an annual input capacity of 2 million tons of copper concentrate.

However, PTFI also signed a memorandum of understanding with another gold and copper miner, PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara, on Aug. 31, 2017 to conduct a joint study on the prospect of jointly developing a new smelter in Sumbawa near the latter’s mining sites.

“We have proposed a plan to the government to develop our new smelter in Gresik. But we have also reached an agreement with Amman to conduct a joint study. So, it’s still possible [to develop it in Sumbawa],” PTFI executive vice president Tony Wenas said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Amman has started developing its own copper smelter with an input capacity of 660,000 tons in Sumbawa. As of mid-February, the development progress of Amman’s smelter had reached 10.1 percent, higher than PTFI’s facility in Gresik of only 2.4 percent.

“If Amman jointly develops the new smelter with PTFI, the planned input capacity of the two companies will be combined,” Amman smelter project coordinator Lukman Mahfoedz said.

“But it is up to PTFI whether it will continue this cooperation or not.” (bbn)