Gold sales by Indonesia’s PT Antam (Persero) TBK increased by 180% to 353,530 ounces in the first half of 2015 compared to the corresponding period of 2014. Ferronickel sales also grew by 27% to 11,307 tonnes.

The gold sales were the biggest contributor to Antam’s revenue in the June quarter, contributing Rp5.65 trillion, or 72% of the total. The company recorded unaudited net sales of Rp7.89 trillion, a 98% increase over the revenues in the same period of 2014.

During the first half of 2015 Antam recorded gold production of 35,591 ounces from the Pongkor and Cibaliung mines. In addition to the two mines, Antam’s Logam Mulia Precious Metal Processing and Refinery Business Unit also refines gold bullion from third parties throughout Indonesia.

Earlier this year Antam commenced ferronickel production from the new electric smelting furnace 4 as part of the Pomalaa Ferronickel Plant Expansion Project (P3FP). The switch-on of furnace 4 signals that the P3FP is on track for the start of commercial operations at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2015.

Production of contained nickel in ferronickel in the first six months increased by 25% to 9443 tonnes of contained nickel in ferronickel (TNi) compared to the production in the first half of 2014. The growth in production of ferronickel was made possible not only due to the optimum performance of the ferronickel plants, but also due to higher ore feed volume and ore grade which were mined from the Pomalaa and Pakal Island nickel mines. In line with the production increases, sales of ferronickel grew by 27%. China, Europe and South Korea were the main destinations of Antam’s ferronickel sales.

Production of nickel ore in the first half, all of which were utilized in the company’s ferronickel production, was 744,064 wmt, up 8% compared to the same period last year.

In the first half of 2015, Antam’s bauxite production reached 109,399 wmt with sales volume of 100,804 wmt. In the period, Antam sold all bauxite ores to PT Indonesia Chemical Alumina (ICA), a jointly controlled entity of Antam and Show Denko KK Japan, which operates the Chemical Grade Alumina plant in Tayan, West Kalimantan. Through its subsidiary, PT Indonesia Coal Resources, Antam posted coal production and sales volumes of 293,150 tonnes and 306,022 tonnes respectively.

Antam’s exploration activities in the half year focused on gold and nickel, with total preliminary cost of Rp2.2 billion.

Gold exploration was undertaken at Cimahpar-Pasir Jawa prospect in Pongkor, West Java. The company conducted drilling, drill logging, sampling, geological mapping, rock and soil sampling, hand auger measurement, drill profile and track measurement as well as geophysical measurement.

Nickel exploration was conducted at Pomalaa, Southeast Sulawesi, including detailed geological mapping, sampling, core logging, grid measurement, single and triple drillings, and preparation.

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