ASIATODAY.ID, GRESIK – PT Smelting Indonesia, a collaboration between PT Freeport Indonesia and Mitsubishi, is expanding copper downstreaming, where Smelting will increase its production from 1 million tons per year to 1.3 million tons per year.
“I really appreciate, I really respect what PT Smelting has done in expanding so that the capacity for copper anode and cathode production has increased from 1 million tons per year to 1.3 million tons per year. This shows the commitment of PT Freeport Indonesia in collaboration with “Mitsubishi is to carry out downstreaming so that the added value is in Indonesia, this is the most important thing,” said Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) when inaugurating the expansion of PT Smelting in Gresik Regency, East Java Province, Thursday, December 14 2023.
Jokowi emphasized that PT Smelting’s expansion is expected to be able to generate added economic value in Indonesia.
“Back and forth, I convey that added value exists in Indonesia and we hope that later with the construction of the smelter in the Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate (JIIPE) Gresik area, an additional 1.7 million tons per year will be added. This means that in a year our smelter can produce 3 million tons per year and the added value is all in Indonesia,” continued Jokowi.
Jokowi emphasized that the implementation of downstreaming in the country will certainly enable the emergence of new industries in the surrounding areas, such as development for coopers which will later encourage investors to build copper derivative factories.
In the future, this downstreaming will apply to all commodities, not just copper, but others, such as plantations and fisheries.
“By building a refining factory, it will enable the emergence of new industries like the ones that already exist. In the construction process for coopers, many will come to our country to build copper derivative industries. Not only copper, I say, not only nickel, not only bauxite, no only tin but also other than minerals, everything must be downstream so that added value can exist in our country,” stressed Jokowi.
In the same place, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) Erick Thohir said that the downstream policy was the right policy taken by President Jokowi.
Indonesia, continued Erick, is a large country with abundant mineral resources. The wealth of natural resources will slowly run out, it is impossible to continue selling raw minerals without any sustainable benefits for the nation and state of the Republic of Indonesia.
“Currently, Freeport Indonesia is 51% owned by the state through BUMN, namely the holding company MIND ID. We, together with Freeport and of course our partners from Mitsubishi, we have a commitment to support the downstream program launched by President Jokowi. Of course we will encourage this transfer technology and of course downstreaming it with the next smelter builder,” said Erick.
Downstreaming natural resources is one of the main development strategies to encourage strong economic growth in various regions and open job opportunities and create added value to the domestic economy.
Indonesia it self has very large copper reserves and is in the category of countries with the largest copper reserves in the world. This enormous potential must be utilized as well as possible for the prosperity of the people by creating the highest possible added value for the economy.
This PT Smelting expansion project is part of Freeport Indonesia’s downstream commitment in accordance with the Special Mining Business License (IUPK) in addition to the construction of a second smelter facility. With the operation of the PT Smelting smelter and the Freeport smelter which will be fully operational in December 2024, the entire refining process for Freeport concentrate products will be carried out in Indonesia.
PT. Smelting is the first copper smelter and refinery in Indonesia. Establishment of PT. Smelting began when PT. Freeport Indonesia invites Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (MMC) to work together to build a copper smelter and refinery in Indonesia in 1994.
Construction of PT. Smelting started from 1996 to 1998. At the beginning of its establishment, PT. Smelting plant is designed to produce 200,000 tones of copper cathode per year. PT. Smelting then carried out three times expansion in 2004, 2006, and 2009 so that production capacity increased to 300,000 tones of copper per year.
PT. Smelting use Mitsubishi technology in Copper smelting process and ISA technology in copper refining process. Mitsubishi process is a continuous process of smelting and converting, with a friendly environment and economically because it is able to produce anode copper with high purity, low emissions, and higher concentration of SO2 in the flue gas. ISA technology is able to produce cathode copper with a purity of 99.99% (LME Grade A) with a high operating time, high labor productivity, and high levels of safety and low production costs.
Proponent of Gresik Copper Smelter & Refinery
From PT. Smelting copper processing process, there are some by products produced namely sulfuric acid, copper slag, gypsum, anode slime and copper telluride. All these products can be sold and used by many consumers at domestic and abroad. PT. Smelting always keep the waste not to exceed determined threshold and comply with standards and environmental laws and regulations that have been established.
PT. Smelting has a vision to become the copper smelter and refinery plant which has a reputation and the world’s most reliable and environmentally friendly. (AT Network)
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