PT Aneka Tambang Tbk. (ANTM) or Antam plans to increase mineral exploration activities this year after recording a realized investment of IDR 128.3 billion in 2022. ANTM Corporate Secretary Syarif Faisal Alkadrie said the aggressive exploration plan was expected to increase the reserves and resources of the company’s core commodities such as gold, nickel and bauxite. “Antam will continue to carry out aggressive exploration and is open to collaborating with strategic partners in the development of resources and reserves,” said Faisal when contacted, Sunday (19/2/2023).
In addition to searching for mineral resources in active mining permit (IUP) locations, exploration is also being carried out in other new prospect areas. “The company also manages forest area permits in prospect areas,” said Faisal. Throughout 2022, ANTM’s gold exploration activities will be carried out in Pongkor, West Java with a focus on geological modeling and drilling activities.
While nickel exploration is carried out in the North Konawe and Pomalaa areas, Southeast Sulawesi and Tanjung Buli, North Maluku. Meanwhile, bauxite exploration is carried out in the Tayan area, West Kalimantan. Previously, Kadin Indonesia Minerba Standing Committee Chairperson Arya Rizki Darsono said the investment realization for mineral and coal exploration (Minerba) activities planned by most mining companies was minimal. Rizki explained that the low investment in exploration activities that the company conveys annually through a work plan and budget (RKAB) is caused by legal uncertainty in the field.
“The causal factors are not always related to costs, but factors in the field such as land, social, environmental issues as well as many resources in the forest,” Rizki said when contacted Sunday (19/2/2023). This situation, said Rizki, has resulted in minimal investment commitments for mineral and coal exploration each year. In fact, investment commitments to the minerba sector have experienced significant growth in recent years after the sluggishness of the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, investment realization in the mineral and coal sector reached US$5.69 billion or 113.5 percent of the target set at US$5.01 billion for 2022.
Meanwhile, investment realization for exploration activities was only around US$261.36 million or only 5.2 percent of the total investment in the mineral and coal sector last year. As is known, until December 29, 2022, there were 41,350 requests for completion of mineral and coal permits. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources only approved 14,256 requests. The remaining 22,462 applications were rejected, 4,302 applications were returned and 429 applications are still being processed. On the other hand, the Ministry of Investment has revoked 1,981 mining business permits (IUP) by the end of 2022. Meanwhile, 443 companies have received IUPs back. Not long ago, research institute Fitch Solutions stated that the mining sector in Indonesia is less competitive compared to other mining producing countries in Asia Pacific. Apart from the issue of legal certainty, Fitch Solutions highlighted the small amount of mining exploration funds in Indonesia.
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