Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Freeport smelter in Gresik to start operation in early June 2024

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Audina Nur

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PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) aims for its new copper smelter in the Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate (JIIPE), Manyar, Gresik, East Java, to commence operations in early June 2024.

Tony Wenas, President Director of Freeport Indonesia, said that the construction progress of the smelter has reached 94 percent and is targeted to be completed next month.

“Currently, it’s already at 94 percent overall progress, [we aim to finish] in May,” Tony said during Idul Fitri celebration at the residence of the Minister of Investment/Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

Therefore, Tony said that the Manyar smelter’s operation will commence next June, but the production of new copper can only start in early August 2024.

“Operations will begin in June but not for production yet because the concentrate will be fed into it around early August [for production], so by the end of August, the copper cathode will be produced,” he said.

He cited that the copper concentrate production capacity in August 2024 will start at 50 percent or around 850,000 tons and will subsequently increase to reach 100 percent by the end of 2024 at 1.7 million tons, resulting in 600,000 tons of copper cathode.

According to Business.com records, Freeport is still lobbying the government to extend the relaxation of PTFI’s copper concentrate exports until December 2024. The copper concentrate export permit of PTFI for 1.7 million metric tons, obtained on July 24, 2023, previously would only be applied until May 2024.

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Arifin Tasrif said that the relaxation of PT Freeport Indonesia’s (PTFI) copper concentrate exports has not been decided as the government is still waiting for Freeport’s promise to commence the commissioning of the Manyar smelter in May 2024.

“So, we are looking at this, we are looking at the progress, we are not promising. Both sides make promises, they promise to finish, and we also promise to settle [the export extension],” Arifin said.

Audina Nur

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Editor

 

Interview

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