PT ANTAM (Persero) Tbk has commenced exports of low-grade nickel ore from Indonesia after receiving the green light from the country’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. The initial export amounted to 165,000 wet metric tonnes (wmt) of nickel ore to China and the next shipment is being prepared.

ANTAM has obtained mineral export licences for 2.7 million wmt of nickel ore and 850,000 wmt of bauxite ore.

ANTAM’s president director Arie Prabowo Ariotedjo said, “ANTAM’s nickel and bauxite ore exports will boost our mineral downstream initiative, which began in 1974 following the operations of the FeNi I ferronickel plant.

“For four decades, ANTAM has been committed to the downstream mineral industry in line with the government’s mineral downstream policy.

“We currently have diverse mineral processing facilities for nickel, gold, silver and bauxite.

“The opportunity to export ore is also expected to create economic benefits in the form of additional revenue, income tax, export tariff and work opportunities related to the processing activity of low-grade ore, which is yet to be consumed in the domestic market.”

In April ANTAM conducted the first piling ceremony of the East Halmahera Ferronickel Plant Development Project (P3FH) in East Halmahera, North Maluku. P3FH has an annual production capacity of 13,500 tonnes of nickel contained in ferronickel, which will support ANTAM’s total annual ferronickel capacity production of 40,500-43,500 tonnes.

In relation to bauxite, ANTAM remains focused on development plan of a Smelter Grade Alumina Refinery (SGAR) plant in cooperation with PT INALUM (Persero). The first stage of the plant is expected to have annual production capacity of 1 million tonnes of SGA.

Through the SGAR project, ANTAM expects to process its vast bauxite reserves while INALUM expects to obtain alumina feed for aluminium processing from a domestic source and reduce dependency of alumina imports.

For the Anode Slime & Precious Metal Refinery (PMR) project, ANTAM together with PT Smelting (PTS) and PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding development of the PMR plant.

Under the MoU, ANTAM, PTS and PTFI agree to form a partnership in supporting the establishment of anode slime processing and precious metals refinery by ANTAM. The refinery will process anode slime obtained from the PTS smelter as well as from the planned smelter of PTFI.

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