The government claims that copper miner PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara — previously named PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara — will start construction of its smelter in early 2018 along the coastal areas of Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara.
“The construction is planned for early 2018. Currently, the company is still in the process of procuring [the materials],” said Bambang Susigit, the minerals business supervision director at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, as reported by tempo.co on Tuesday.
The smelter, which is required for a Special Mining License (IUPK), is expected to be completed in the next five years. It is designed to purify 1 million tons of copper concentrate per year. Its capacity will be gradually increased to 2 million tons per year. The project costs an estimated US$2.2 billion.
Bambang’s statement was confirmed by Muhammad Lutfi, the main commissioner of PT Medco Energi Internasional.
“Our commitment is to construct smelters after the process of acquisition [of the company] is finished. By our calculations, construction will start in early 2018,” said Lutfi.
Medco holds a 50 percent share of Amman Mineral Investama, which controls 82.2 percent of Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara.
Bambang called on Amman to immediately submit an environment impact analysis (amdal) document to the Environment and Forestry Ministry for the smelter project as required by law.