Mining Giant to Spend Billions to Halt Indonesian Metal Imports – by Eko Listiyorini and Tassia Sipahutar (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – July 18, 2019)

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia plans to spend billions of dollars in building aluminum and nickel smelters as it seeks to cut reliance on imports of finished metal and stem exports of raw minerals.

State-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium will earmark as much as $10 billion over the next five years to develop refineries and smelters, according to President Director Budi Gunadi Sadikin. The investment will be made by the company and its units including nickel and bauxite miner PT Aneka Tambang, he said.

Indonesia is seeking to reshape its mining industry by making it mandatory for miners to build smelters after decades of free exports of raw materials left it reliant on costly imports to meet demand.

The company is investing $850 million in building a 1-million ton smelter-grade alumina refinery in West Kalimantan that, when completed in 2022, will help reduce the country’s 500,000 tons of alumina imports each year, Sadikin said.

“The refinery will use Indonesia’s abundant bauxite supply,” Sadikin said in an interview at his office in Jakarta on July 16. “This is an energy-intensive industry. We can benefit from abundant water supply and construct hydro power plants.”

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