Work for Kupang smelter advances

Work is progressing in Indonesia and South Africa on Gulf Manganese Corporations smelter project to be established in Kupang, which is in Indonesias West Timor province. Two smelters are being refurbished in South Africa before being shipped to Kupang.

The company has also completed the final payment to Transalloys for the purchase of the two smelters.

Concurrently the Kupang site works program is progressing on schedule following the recent completion of the site blessing ceremony with the local community and government officials.

A key catalyst in the construction program lies initially with the refurbishment program in South Africa. It is expected that the program will be completed in November with the dismantling and refurbishment taking about 12 weeks before the components are shipped to Durban for final inspection and containerisation. The equipment is expected to arrive in Indonesia in December.

The first items to be removed are the transformers which have already passed initial oil testing but will now be stripped, insulation replaced and filled with new oil. There are three transformers with one for each furnace and a spare unit.

Next step is removal of the furnaces, cradles and lids for complete strip down and reconditioning of gearboxes and moving components. The final components are the hydraulic lifters for the electrodes. All hoses will be replaced with new and cylinders will be fully overhauled. At the same time, all copper bus-bars will be removed and brought back to new.

Indonesian shipping agents have been selected to manage and supervise logistics and permitting. They will manage the process from Durban to Kupang. It is expected that the shipment will go direct to the Tenau Port at Kupang, which is a short distance from the Kupang Smelting Hub site.

In Indonesia, the site in the Bolok industrial area has been cleared, construction power from the adjacent government-owned power station is connected and site work for the short term AMDAL has been completed. It was expected that the AMDAL presentations to the regulatory authorities would take place early this month.

Temporary site offices have been procured and are being shipped to site. The topographical survey has been completed with profiling and production of topographical drawings being finalised. Geotechnical drilling is under way on the furnace footing locations and the next step is final profiling of the land in preparation for commencement of civil works.

An Indonesian construction company has been shortlisted to work under EPCM contractor XRAM. The company will be responsible for civil and steel works to be completed before the smelters arrive. It will also be responsible for ensuring that all construction drawings and design from XRAM in South Africa are converted to local standards.

Work has stepped up on securing initial manganese supplies with binding agreements with local miners.