House Member Want the Performance of all Smelters to be Supervised

House member of Commission VII Mulyanto wants the government, starting from the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, and related institutions to pay close attention to the performance of all smelters in the national mining sector.

“Pay attention to the performance of allminingsmelters, from tin to copper smelters,” said Mulyanto, as quoted fromAntara, Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

According to Mulyanto, if the government is serious about the downstream program of mining products, it should be monitored not only the performance of the nickel smelter but also copper smelters.

A smelter is a facility for refining mining products from metal ore to metal.With this purification, Indonesia will no longer export mining ore or copper concentrate, but its downstream products have higher added value.

The hope is that by using the smelter facility in the long term, the trade balance in the future will be more positive.

“The government needs to work extra hard in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, so that smelter performance can run according to target, because there are still many problems that are being questioned by the public regarding the smelter’s performance,” said Mulyanto.

Mulyanto is of the opinion that conceptually the downstream program of mining products through this smelter will have multiple effects on the greatest possible welfare of the community.

The layered effect, he continued, is such as the acquisition of other metal derivative products such as cables and sulfuric acid, the growth of supply chain businesses, the growth of related industries in the downstream, the opening of new jobs, and the improvement of human resource skills and the transfer of domestic technology.

Mulyanto regretted that the progress of the copper smelter construction was like an on-site road.As of July 2020, the construction of a new PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) smelter in Gresik has only reached 5.86 percent of the target which should have been 10.5 percent.

If this is not achieved, he continued, then he is of the opinion that the sanctions are temporary suspension of their concentrate export approval and paying administrative fines.

“The government must be firm in addressing this problem. Use the prevailing legal rules. Do not provide too much announcement against mining companies,” said Mulyanto.

Previously, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif, asked the strategic project for the construction of PT Freeport Indonesia’s smelter in Gresik, East Java, to accelerate its completion so that it would immediately provide real benefits to the Indonesian nation.

“I hope the PT Freeport smelter project can be completed soon, we will continue to push this because when this is done we will only need to push the downstream industry so that it can develop,” he said.

The construction of the PT Freeport smelter will be carried out within a period of five years and is planned to be completed by the end of 2023.The investment from this project is worth USD 3 billion.