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Jakarta Post

After Freeport, Indonesia eyes 20% of nickel firm’s shares

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, February 4, 2019   /   03:04 pm
After Freeport, Indonesia eyes 20% of nickel firm’s shares A worker walks past bags of minerals belonging to mining company PT Vale Indonesia in Sorowako, South Sulawesi. (JP/Ruslan Sangaji)

After gaining control of 51.23 percent shares of gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia, the government is eyeing to gain a 20 percent stake in publicly listed nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia (INCO).

"We are certainly interested, but we have not assigned a company yet [to represent the government]," the SOEs Ministry's undersecretary for mining, strategic industries and media affairs, Fajar Harry Sampurno, said in Jakarta on Friday as quoted by kontan.co.id.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s mineral director, Yunus Saefulhak, said the ministry had received INCO's divestment proposal letter. He added that INCO had submitted its report to the Finance Ministry while sending its offer to the SOEs Ministry.

"The corporate action will be decided by the government. The divestment has been offered to state-owned mining holding company PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium [Inalum] and state-owned diversified miner PT Aneka Tambang [Antam], among others," he said.

Antam president director Arie Prabowo Ariotedjo said the company was not disinterested in securing INCO’s shares but that the miner would focus on its downstream business this year.

Inalum president director Budi Sadikin, meanwhile, expressed the company's interest, citing the strategic value of nickel.

Budi said the company was awaiting instructions from ministers Ignatius Jonan and Rini Soemarno.

In 2017, INCO booked 95.1 million tons of nickel reserves, leading the company to become one of Indonesia's biggest nickel producers. Vale Indonesia president director Niko Kanter refused to comment on the matter. (ars/bbn)