PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) is aiming to start construction of a copper smelter in 2020. The smelter is scheduled to start production in late 2023 with a total capacity of 2 million tons (MT) of copper concentrate.

Currently, PTFI is looking for a loan to finance a smelter project. The need for the project reached US$3 billion (Rp42.9 trillion) and is targeted to be completed by 2022. Now, 15 foreign and local banks have expressed interest in lending, Wenas Said.

The smelter will be built in Gresik, East Java. The location is right in an industrial area – Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate (JIIPE), owned by PT Pelabuhan Indonesia III and PT AKR Corporindo Tbk (AKRA).

In addition, PTFI plans to request an additional export quota without disclosing the amount. The miner currently has permits to export 198,282 wet tons of copper concentrate.

PTFI and Indonesian mining holding PT Indonesia Aluminium Asahan (Inalum) agreed to build a copper smelter within five years of closing a deal last December with the Indonesian government to operate the giant Grasberg copper mine in Papua.