Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto together with the Minister of Investment/Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia, accompanied by the President Director of PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) Tony Wenas inaugurated the operation of the PTFI smelter in the Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate Special Economic Zone (KEK) ( JIIPE), Gresik, East Java.

“A factory that I call extraordinary. It's extraordinary that within 30 months since the groundbreaking by the President, we were able to finish construction on time. "This is extraordinary," said Airlangga in his speech.

He said the construction of the Freeport smelter was part of the Special Mining Business Permit (IUPK) agreement. The construction process is taking place on time, currently starting operations and production in August until reaching full capacity in December 2024.

"So this (smelter) is very timely because now renewable energy is a trend and is needed "One of the critical minerals is copper," said the Coordinating Minister.

He said that with the PTFI smelter, mining activities and the refining process would take place domestically. It is hoped that this will have a positive impact on the economy in the country, where the added value of mining products will be enjoyed domestically.

In his speech, Minister of Investment Bahlil Lahadalia expressed his gratitude and happiness with the Freeport smelter which started operating because the construction process faced a number of challenges.

“Today I am happy and grateful because this has been a long journey. I know very well that building this smelter is not easy, it was about to be shifted, the dynamics were begging for forgiveness. In 2021, when we decided to build immediately, there was the COVID-19 pandemic. But today we can witnessed this smelter (starting to operate). "This is proof that Freeport management is realizing its commitment to implementing the IUPK requirements," said Bahlil.

Smelter in operation
Pressing the siren button as a sign of the operation of the PTFI smelter
Smelter in operation
The Ministers visited the Smelter Harbor
Smelter in operation
President Director PTFI with the Ministers visited the Anode Casting
Smelter in operation
Smelter in operation
Smelter in operation

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) represented by Acting Director General of Minerals and Coal Bambang Suswantono said the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is monitoring and supervising the construction of the Freeport smelter.

"With the inauguration of the Freeport smelter operation in Gresik, this marks the start of mineral downstreaming which is the direction of the President (Joko Widodo). "Thank God, Freeport, Gresik Regency, the East Java Provincial Government are supporting us so that the construction of the Freeport smelter is completed on time and this marks the start of mineral downstreaming in our country," said Bambang.

PTFI President Director Tony Wenas said that the construction of this new smelter was PT Freeport Indonesia's commitment to support the copper mineral downstream policy launched by the government.

He said that in the future copper will be really needed by the world. Other countries are racing in the energy transition, will need huge amounts of copper. "What the President announced in the IUPK to build another new smelter is the right intuition. "World copper demand will continue to increase, accelerating the formation of the electric vehicle ecosystem, accelerating Indonesia's gold," he said.

The inauguration of the PTFI smelter operation took place in front of the Sulfuric Acid Tank area. Marked by pressing the siren button, the start of the smelter operation, followed by the signing of the inscription. Also present at this event was Acting Governor of East Java. East Java Provincial Secretary Bobby Soemiarsono, and Gresik Regent Fandi Akhmad Yani.

For your information, PTFI's new smelter is capable of refining copper concentrate with a production capacity of 1.7 million tons. Apart from producing copper cathodes, the smelter also produces anode mud which is then refined at the Precious Metal Refinery (PMR) into gold and silver bullion, as well as Platinum Group Metals (PGM).

Until the end of May 2024, PTFI's investment in building a copper smelter with the largest single line design in the world has reached 3.67 billion US dollars or around IDR 58 trillion.

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