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Jakarta Post

Freeport to finish smelter project in 2022

  • Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 7, 2019   /   08:54 am
Freeport to finish smelter project in 2022 Miners work in an underground mine belonging to PT Freeport Indonesia in this undated file photograph. (Courtesy of/PT Freeport Indonesia)

Gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) president director Tony Wenas said the company was committed to completing its US$2.8 billion smelter in Gresik, East Java, by the end of 2022.

Tony said progress on the project had reached 3.86 percent as of February.

"It's in accordance with our plan that we have submitted to the government. We will continue the development and expect to complete it by the end of 2022," he said in a press statement issued by the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry on Sunday.

He made the statement while visiting the company’s mine in Papua on Friday.

Tony said PTFI had almost completed the land acquisition for the project, which would be followed up by preparing the land for further construction and pumping water out of the ground.

He claimed the smelter, which is designed to have a capacity to process 2 million tons of copper concentrate annually, had attracted interest from many local and foreign financial institutions.

Law No. 4/2009 on coal and mineral mining requires mining companies to build smelters so that companies would export more refined mineral products rather than unprocessed ores, hence drawing more value out of the country’s mineral wealth.

The ministry's director general for mineral and coal, Bambang Gatot Ariyono, said the government would revoke the mineral export permit of companies that failed to show progress on their smelter projects.

"The export permit is issued annually, and we will evaluate it every six months. The requirement [for the permit] is to make progress on smelter development in accordance with the firm's plan submitted to us." he said. (bbn)