SINGAPORE PT Freeport Indonesia Tbk is in talks with state-owned power enterprises and other companies over the economic viability of building a new copper smelter in Indonesia, vice president of corporate communications Daisy Primayanti said Aug. 26.
The company, a subsidiary of Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., is conducting a feasibility study for the smelter that will take three to four months to complete.
The company said earlier this month that it would support PT Indosmelt and PT Indovasi Mineral Indonesia in assessing the economic feasibility of a new smelter and support other interested parties (amm.com, Aug. 13).
The Indonesian government has been pushing mining companies downstream to process raw materials into refined products before exporting them ahead of a 2014 export ban on minerals.
PT Freeport Indonesia has constructed the only Indonesian copper smelter facility, located in Gresik and run by PT Smelting Co., a joint venture between PT Freeport and Japans Mitsubishi Materials Corp.
"We have one smelter in Gresik where 40 percent of concentrate (from Grasberg) is being shipped," Primayanti said.
The company said it remains open to selling more concentrate domestically if it can get competitive pricing based on the prevailing international trend.
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.