AMMAN Copper Smelter & Precious Metal Refinery In West Sumbawa Set For Construction With China’s NFC As Main Contractor

After the October 2021 groundbreaking ceremony for PT Freeport Indonesia’s (PTFI) new copper smelter at the Special Economic Zone Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate (SEZ JIIPE) in Gresik, East Java,  a second new copper smelter project is also progressing as PT Amman Mineral Industri (AMIN) recently finally completed detailed contracts with two major contractors to build AMMAN’s Copper Smelter & Precious Metal Refinery (PMR) projects in West Sumbawa Regency (KSB), West Nusa Tenggara Province (NTB).

This is a big downstream value-add boost for the Batu Hijau open pit copper-gold mine operated by sister company PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara, the second largest copper-gold mine in Indonesia behind PT Freeport Indonesia’s Grasberg. It means that Indonesia will soon have three copper smelters – PT Smelting Gresik, which has been operating as the single in-country smelter since 1996, plus the new PTFI and AMMAN smelters now in-development.

The contracts were signed between AMIN and China Non-Ferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Co Ltd (NFC) as well as PT Pengembangan Industri Logam (PT PIL) in a virtual ceremony on Friday, December 10, 2021. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Governor of West Nusa Tenggara Province and the Regent of West Sumbawa Regency. AMIN’s President Director, Rachmat Makkasau signed both contracts at AMMAN’s headquarters in Jakarta. In his speech, Makkasau stated that these contracts reiterate AMMAN’s commitment to building the copper smelter & PMR projects according to government regulations.

“I would like to thank all parties who have been very patient and persistent in bringing amicable closure on technical, commercial & financial fronts to produce these contracts, despite immense challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. This contract will soon be followed up by the mobilisation of all contractors, project management companies, including workforce, equipment, and supplies. We have identified certain project challenges that we may encounter and prepared some mitigation plans. To execute this megaproject, we need support from all stakeholders, including the government at local and national levels, business partners, and the surrounding communities” he said.

NFC will be the main contractor that supplies the materials and equipment for the 0.9 Mt/y copper smelter and PMR facilities. The technology and patented equipment for the project will be procured from prominent original equipment manufacturers around the globe by NFC, such as NERIN & Yanggu of China for the smelting & converting technologies, MECS of the USA for the gas cleaning and sulphuric acid plants, Kumera & Metso-Outotec of Finland for anode furnaces & casting wheels, while Glencore Technology of Australia has been entrusted with providing the design & technology for a copper electro refinery.

NFC’s President Director, Qin Junman, expressed his appreciation for the trust given by AMMAN. “As one of the top international contractors, NFC has successfully completed numerous projects, including copper smelters with the latest technology. We are confident that we will build this project into a world-class one with the help and support from the government, AMMAN, and our partners. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the project will be very challenging. However, we want to ensure that all necessary resources are available for smooth, successful, and on-schedule project implementation.”

Meanwhile, PT PIL will be the contractor responsible for a spectrum of works, starting from the design, engineering, structural fabrication and installation, civil construction, commissioning, start-up, and finally ramping up to the plant’s design capacity, within the Project Acceptance Deadline on a lump-sum turnkey basis.

Separately, the Governor of West Nusa Tenggara Province (NTB), Dr Zulkieflimansyah, addressed his appreciation for the progress made by AMMAN. “Last September, I visited the Batu Hijau site with the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. We could see that AMMAN has been fully committed to building the smelter. NTB Government will give full support by ensuring the ease of doing business. I would like to encourage all parties to share the same spirit, especially understanding that this project can bring significant economic impacts for the local economy and communities.”

Meanwhile, the Regent of West Sumbawa Regency, Dr Musyafirin, also appreciated the progress and development achieved by AMMAN for its Smelter and PMR projects thus far. “AMMAN has consistently demonstrated its commitment to completing the Copper Smelter and PMR Projects, in line with the government’s major agenda to build the downstream industry, in particular from the copper sector. To support the realization of this plan, the West Sumbawa Regency Government will work together with various stakeholders to support the on-schedule completion of AMMAN’s projects, including through licensing or other regulatory support. We will also coordinate closely with the local communities and central government. The signing of these contracts provides clear evidence and certainty on the progress of AMMAN’s smelter project.”

“I wish to reiterate that we will continue to make our sincere efforts in contributing to the nation’s prosperity. We really appreciate the support from all parties, including the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Ministry of Industry, the Government of West Nusa Tenggara Province, the Government of West Sumbawa Regency, for their support and guidance throughout the process. We hope that we continue to get support from the government, especially with regards to permitting and licensing that can ease not only the smelter projects but also our business operations in general, as they are highly interdependent with each other,” concluded Makkasau.

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