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Amman Mineral in talks with Freeport Indonesia to jointly use smelter facility

JAKARTA ( – PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara (AMNT), previously known as Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT) is in talks with PT Freeport Indonesia to jointly use smelter facilities to process their ores.

Currently, AMNT is developing a smelter near its Batu Hijau mining site in Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara. If deal is reached, AMNT will have to scale up the capacity of its planned smelter to 2 million tons per annum from 1 million tons, Bisnis Indonesia daily reported citing founder of Medco Energi Arifin Panigoro, the new shareholder of AMNT.

Currently, 82.2% of AMNT shares are controlled by Amman Mineral Infrastructure and 17.8% by PT Pukuafu Indah. In return, Amman Mineral is owned by PT AP Investment and PT Medco Energi International Tbk (IDX:MEDC).

As a result, the investment to build the smelter will also double from initial plan of US$1.6 billion, said Panigoro.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry (ESDM) in February this year has issued permit to both AMNT and Freeport Indonesia to export ores on conditions that they are committed to develop smelter in Indonesia as mandated by the mining law.

The permit was given after Freeport Indonesia and Amman Minerals declared their commitment to develop smelter facilities in the country and after their contract of works (CoWs) was changed to Special Mining Permit (IUPK) scheme.

The energy ministry gives approval to Freeport Indonesia to export 1,113,105 Wet Metric Tonnes (WMT) of copper concentrates starting from Feb. 17, 2017 until Feb. 16, 2018.

The energy ministry also grants export permit to PT Amman Mineral with a volume of 675,000 WMT of copper concentrates, which is valid from Feb. 17, 2017 until Feb. 16, 2018.

The energy ministry said the government will evaluate the progress of the physical development of processing and smelting facilities in the required time period, or at least 6 months, which is verified by an independent party. If the 6-monthly construction progress is not in accordance with the commitments, the recommendation exports could be revoked, the ministry warns. (*)

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