Jakarta. Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara, the copper and gold mining subsidiary of Indonesia's Medco Energy, is halfway through completing a new copper smelter in West Nusa Tenggara that would hand Indonesia a massive surplus of refined copper by the next three years.
"Copper smelter project is currently underway," Rachmat Makkassau, the president director of Amman Mineral, said during a panel discussion at the BNI Investor Daily Summit at Jakarta Convention Center.
As of August, the company has spent $465 million on the smelter construction, or 47 percent of the total investment of $982 million.
The smelter was part of the requirements from the government for the company to continue its mining operation until 2050.
Amman's smelter could produce 222,000 tons of refined copper and start operation in 2024, the same year Freeport Indonesia's smelter would begin operation.
"That year, we would have 70 percent more of [refined copper] output than our domestic needs. That's the homework for our country. How the smelter output can be absorbed by local industry," Rachmat said.
One potential industry to take up the copper surplus is electric vehicles.
"The copper requirement of an electric vehicle is three to four times of the conventional cars," Rachmat said.
Amman Mineral operates a 25,000-hectare Batu Hijau copper and gold mine in Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara. It is Indonesia's second largest after Freeport's Grasberg mine in Papua.
Amman Mineral's Smelter to Hand Indonesia Huge Surplus of Refined Copper