Jakarta. Freeport Indonesia announced on Wednesday that progress in the construction of its copper concentrate smelter in Gresik had exceeded its six-month target in February. The progress has been verified independently and the report submitted to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.
Freeport Indonesia president director Tony Wenas said the ministry evaluates the progress of construction at the smelter every six months.
"The progress is now at 4.88 percent, exceeding our six-month target of 4.09 percent," Tony said in a hearing with Commission VII at the House of Representatives in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Tony said the progress was achieved in land compaction, which should be completed within the next three months.
After that, an EPC auction would be conducted before the proper construction stage. The entire smelter construction is expected to be completed in 2023.
"We hope to start the construction in August," Tony said.
The Freeport smelter, which costs $3 billion to build, will have a capacity of 2 million tons of copper concentrate. It's located in the Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate (JIIPE) industrial area in Gresik, East Java.
Freeport started building its own smelters in Indonesia in 2014. The progress was slow since the company faced an uncertain future after the end of its Contract of Work (CoW) in 2021.
Negotiations with the government resulted in Freeport being granted a Special Mining Business License (IUPK).
The IUPK allows Freeport to operate in Indonesia until 2041.