Road Map for Copper Downstreaming Must be Prepared

18 January 2023

The Government’s echo of the downstreaming of copper must be accompanied by a road map for the absorbing industry. Moreover, in 2024 large smelters will operate so that industries so that industries absorbing downstream copper products must be prepared.

    Chairman of the association of Indonesian Mining Experts (Perhapi) Risal Kasli when contacted in Jakarta on Tuesday (1.17/2023) said that currently there are only three mining companies that produce copper, namely PT Freeport Indonesia, PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara and Pt Batutua Copper Raya.

Part of the copper concentrate has only been processed namely around 1 million tons at PT Smelting Gresik in Eats Java, Of the approximately 3 million tons of copper concentrate produced in Indonesia annually, practically more concentrate is exported thn refined at home.

While increasing the capacity of domestic copper smelters, the downstream industry needs to be prepared, “Such as electrical products, medical and chemical devices. Automotive, and military needs. So, there is a lot of potential and it needs to be to be developed both in the manufacturing and intermediary industries. These need to be mapped,” said Rizal.

According to Rizal the spirit of downstreaming, including copper, proclaimed by the government must be welcome by industry players and the government through BUMNs. Thus, after being processed into cathode it does not need to be exported again. But is used domestically. Moreover, electric vehicles and their batteries which are being developed by the government require a lot of copper.

Acting Deputy Chairperson of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Carmelita Hartoto added her party supports and hope for the downstreaming of natural resources, Tis needs to be accompanied by industrial development to absorb copper cathodes in order to increase domestic consumption of downstream products, That industry for example is for electric cables networks and electric vehicles, Because the uptake of copper in electric vehicles will be greater than conventional vehicles,” said Carmelita.

Meanwhile the progress of PT Freeport Indonesia’s smelter construction project in Gresik has reached 51.7%. This copper concentrate processing and refining plant will begin operating in May 2024. In order to optimize the utilization of the Rp. 45 trillion megaproject, the domestic copper manufacturing industry needs to be encouraged.

When Kompas visited the location on Friday (1.13) afternoon, thousands of people were seen working and operating number of heavy equipment there. The scorching heat of the sun did not stop their work. “We are working with the government so that (downstream products) canbe consumed domestically.” said Freeport Indonesia Main Director Tony Wenas.

With the completion of this project. There will be cathode production in large quantities in the country and provide added value t downstream industries such as the cable industry and other manufactures that use copper. Tony is sure that with the large cathode production in Gresik more parties will want to invest in Indonesia. Copper using manufacturing industries in Indonesia, which are currently still importing, can absorb copper from the smelter. The downstream industry must grow and this will prompt other downstream industries to emerge if accompanied by the right policies and promotions,” said Tony

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