Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Arifin Tasrif today, Friday (29/7), made a working visit to the Java Integrated and Industrial Port Estate (JIIPE) area in Gresik, East Java. This visit ensures the sustainability of the construction of a new copper smelter facility with a capacity of 1.7 million dry metric tons (dmt) per year owned by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI).
"From what is measured, progress (development) is faster than targeted. It has reached 34.9% at the end of June 2022, with costs incurred more than USD1.15 billion," said Arifin accompanied by PTFI President Director Tony Wenas at the construction site smelters.
Currently, there are 10,500 pile points and concrete pouring is also underway for the structural foundation. "It is targeted that by the end of 2022 it will reach 50 percent. We hope that in the second quarter of 2023 the construction will have been completed, especially the existing smelting project which is expanding," Arifin added.
To support the construction of the smelter, 3,500 construction workers were recruited, consisting of 98% of Indonesian workers, 50% of whom were local workers from East Java. This is expected to maintain the acceleration of such progress as early as possible. "Development projects must remain on progress . For this reason, the need for local workers will be optimized," said Arifin.
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources appreciates PTFI's serious efforts to work on the smelter project. "Overall I am satisfied. The progress is quite good, very different from the first visit last time," he explained.
In the construction of the smelter, there is a capacity expansion of the existing smelter by 0.3 million dmt/year by PT Smelting, as well as the processing of precious metal (precious metal refinery) which reaches 6,000 tons/year. PTFI itself has prepared an investment in capital expenditure of USD 3 billion for the smelter construction project.
Arifin emphasized that the government will continue to encourage the acceleration of development, one of the efforts is the existence of regulations regarding mining, as well as regulations regarding the necessity of downstreaming. "We have mining regulations and downstream regulations, we take care of the process," said Arifin.
On the same occasion, PTFI President Director Tony Wenas acknowledged that the current development progress was quite good, and exceeded the initial target of 34.3%. "For now, what we have done is that several pailings (pile foundations) have been installed, reaching 11 thousand of the total 16 thousand pailing or 65 percent, with concrete pouring reaching 20 thousand cubic meters, from the total plan of around 220 thousand cubic meters," he said.
Tony said that development activities have been carried out intensively until now, with the contractor company PT Ciyoda International Indonesia (CII) which focuses on land compaction, assisted by Adhi Karya, as well as several other local contractors.
For information, PT Freeport Indonesia has obtained approval for the masterlist for the smelter construction from the government. The technology applied and developed in the construction of the smelter is in the form of Double Flash Smelting & Converting which has been adopted by several countries in the world, such as China, India, European countries, and the United States.
Meanwhile, the main products produced in the smelter are copper cathode, pure gold and silver bars, PGM (Platinum Group Metals), as well as sulfuric acid, slag, gypsum, lead as by-products. (NA)