Widodo presides over Freeport Indonesia’s smelter groundbreaking

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Tuesday presided over the groundbreaking of PT Freeport Indonesia’s refining and processing smelter installation, which will have the capacity to process 1.7 million tons of copper concentrate per year.

“This smelter will be the world’s largest with the single line design because it will process 1.7 million tons of copper concentrate per year,” Widodo remarked during the first stone placement ceremony in the Special Economic Zone (KEK) Gresik, Gresik District, East Java on Tuesday.

Indonesia has significant copper reserves and is one of the top seven countries globally with the largest copper reserves, he noted.

The potential wealth of natural resources must be utilized properly by creating added value for the welfare of the community, he added.

Therefore, Widodo called for the downstreaming of industrial products so that Indonesia does not only benefit from raw natural resources.

“As stated by the Minister (Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto), let’s avoid the condition where we only have the mines, concentrates, but the smelters and the downstream is in other countries like Spain and Japan. The added value only benefits them,” the President explained.

This is meant to reduce exports of raw natural resources and provide added value as well mic multiplier effects for the domestic economy, including higher revenues for the country, he said.

“I will order each company, both private and state-owned enterprises related to mining, to go 0. It is to increase commodities’ value. We must not send (export) the raw resources,” the President expounded.

The construction of the smelter is also a strategic policy taken after the government gained control of 51 percent of PT Freeport Indonesia’s shares, he said.

“Because, again, we want the added value to be here,” Widodo affirmed.

Cabinet Secretary Minister Pramono Anung, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif, Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, and officials also attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

Source: Antara News