Jakarta. State-controlled miner Aneka Tambang has started the commercial operations of its $490 million chemical-grade alumina plant in Tayan, West Kalimantan, the miner said in a statement on Monday.
The plant, which is set to produce around 300,000 tons of chemical-grade alumina (CGA) per year, is part of the company’s diversification and strategic initiative to boost yields amid the government’s ban on mineral exports.
Antam president director Tato Miraza said the commercial operations of the CGA plant would increase the variety of the miner’s processed commodities, which include nickel, gold, silver and coal.
“The operation of the plant also reflects Antam’s commitment to develop downstream commodities that give added value. It will also create a multiplier effect which will be directly and indirectly linked to the operation of the Tayan CGA plant and bring a positive impact, especially for the economic growth in Tayan and areas around it,” Tato said in a statement.
The Tayan CGA plant is operated by Indonesia Chemical Alumina (ICA), a joint venture between Antam and Japanese firm Showa Denko K.K.
Antam controls 80 percent of the shares in ICA while the remaining 20 percent is owned by Showa Denko.
The production from the Tayan CGA plant will be marketed for both local markets and international, including Japan.
Meanwhile, Antam is considering selling global bonds this year, as one of the options to help finance further mineral processing projects.
Antam finance director Djaja Tambunan said the company could only determine the bond value after conducting a road show, and suggested European, Southeast Asian and US markets as promising potential options.
Djaja added the company had to calculate the right time for the bond issue to get the best market reception.
Antam has mineral processing projects in Kalimantan and North Maluku. In Mempawah, West Kalimantan, Antam is working on a smelter to process bauxite into alumina. The project is worth an estimated $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion. The smelter is expected to be completed in 2017.
Antam is also developing a plant to process nickel ore into ferronickel in East Halmahera, North Maluku province. The project has cost $1.6 billion and is designed to produce 40,000 tons of ferronickel per year.
Its commissioning is planned to take place later this year. Djaja said the company needed further capital injections to support its plan to strengthen its equity.
The government previously planned to inject Antam with Rp 7 trillion ($546 million) worth of funds, but a meeting between the government and the House of Representatives revised the figure down to Rp 3.5 trillion.
Antam booked Rp 9.46 trillion in sales in 2014, down 16 percent from the previous year.