China ENFI Engineering Corp., together with local partners, PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) and PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (MIND ID) plans to develop copper smelting project in FakFak, West Papua - Photo by BKPM Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – China ENFI Engineering Corp., together with local partners, PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) and PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (MIND ID) plans to develop copper smelting project in FakFak, West Papua. The investment plans marked by the signed of a memorandum of understanding between chairman of investment coordinating board, Bahlil Lahadalia, and ENFI president, Liu Cheng, virtually on Monday (04/12).

He assured that the availability of a minimum supply of raw materials around 800,000 tones per annum for the smelter to be provided by PTFI. While, Cheng hopes that the project will run well and be completed quickly.

“After this, we will complete a preliminary study as soon as possible so that the project can be completed quickly. We will also embrace Freeport and MIND. ID to be together in this project,” said Cheng in a written statement released on Tuesday (04/13).

In February, senior economic minister, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan has announced, Freeport and China’ Tsingshan Steel is finalizes the development of copper smelter in Weda Bay, Halmahera, North Maluku. The unit of of the United States (US) copper and gold producer, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX), MIND ID and the Chinese company would sign a contract worth US$2.8 billion soon.

He conveyed, the copper smelter will also produces sulfuric acid which can be used as a material for making lithium batteries. Previously, Freeport Indonesia president director, Tony Wenas, admitted that Tsingshan Steel was approaching him to build a copper smelter in Weda Bay. He said that the cooperation plan was still in the discussion stage and there had not been any agreement between the two parties.

After get warning from the energy and mineral Resources (EMR) ministry, Freeport agreed to build a new copper smelter with a capacity 1.7 million tones (MT) even lower than the original plan. Initially, the company promised to build new smelter with a capacity of 2 MT of copper concentrate per annum.

It said, the other capacity will be worked on by increasing the capacity of the existing smelter owned by PT Smelting, owned by the company and two Japanese firms, Mitsubishi Corporation Unimetal Ltd., and Nippo Mining Metals Co. Ltd. The projects build in the Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate, Gresik, East Java,

The minister, Arifin Tasrif, emphasized the most important thing for the government is the mining license holder must build the new processing of copper concentrate in the country. For the existing smelter owned by PTFI, the expansion project has absorbed an investment $300 million and its planned to operate in 2023.

PTFI also has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi and Nippon to increase the capacity at Smelting’ plant on on Nov. 13, 2020. The third parties will work together to increase the smelter capacity from 1 million tons to 1.3 million tons per year.

Recently, the American miner, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. announced to expand its existing copper smelter at Gresik in East Java. The company also wants to adding a precious metals refinery in place of constructing an entirely new smelter nearby.

The CEO, Richard Adkerson, said in a written statement, the company choose to expand the smelter and adding a precious metals refinery rather than building a new smelter. In addition, He stated, there would have to be an agreement allowing his company to export the excess.

PTFI expects its 2021 production to approximate 1.4 billion pounds of copper and 1.4 million ounces of gold, which is nearly double projected 2020 levels. The producer also aimed to generate an average annual production for the next several years of 1.55 billion pounds of copper and 1.6 million ounces of gold at an average unit net cash cost of approximately $0.20 per pound of copper.

The joint venture firm with state-owned mining holding, MIND ID is estimated the annual capital spending on underground mine development projects is expected to average approximately $900 million per year for the three-year period 2020 through 2022, net of scheduled contributions from the partner.

While ENFI is a state-owned company registered in Beijing and is a subsidiary of the MCC Group providing smelter technology, building smelter industries, particularly copper, nickel, aluminum and other non-ferrous metals. The copper smelting capacity is 400,000 tones per year Copper Cathode which will be divided into two phases.

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