Nickel producer Vale Indonesia said the country's recent policy shift to allow ore exports is helping keep global prices of the metal low, and complicating efforts to establish partnerships for new smelter investments. (Reuters Photo/Yusuf Ahmad)

Antam Secures Chinese Partner for Mempawah Smelter Project

BY :NURIY AZIZAH & DION BISARA

DECEMBER 17, 2015

[Updated at 11:24 a.m. on Friday, Dec 17, 2015 to add estimated cost of the smelter in second paragraph]

Jakarta. State-owned minerals miner Aneka Tambang has signed a memorandum of understanding with Aluminum Corporation of China to develop a smelter-grade alumina refinery in Mempawah, West Kalimantan, the company said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The agreement would rejuvenate the $1.8 billion plant project which has been put on the back burner since the end of last year due to funding difficulties.

The smelter would have a capability to churn out two million tons of alumina a year and would supply the raw material to Indonesia Asahan Aluminum (Inalum) in North Sumatra, said Tedy Badrujaman, the president director of Antam.

The smelter would consume six million wet metric tons of bauxite ore annually.

Antam's total bauxite ore reserve stood at 111.5 million metric tons at the end of 2014, while the mineral resources — which are still unprofitable to mine under current economic and technological conditions — stood at 589 million wet metric tons.

The company's Mempawah mine contains about 120 million WMT measured and inferred resources, according to its 2014 annual report.

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