Gresik – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo leads the groundbreaking for the construction of PT Freeport Indonesia’s copper smelter in Gresik Regency, East Java. The smelter is designed to have a copper concentrate processing capacity of 1.7 million tons per year.
“I heard it is the largest single-line copper processing site in the world, as it is capable to process and refine 1.7 million tons of copper concentrate per year,” Jokowi said during the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
Indonesia is among the seven countries with the largest copper reserves in the world. Such potential of natural resources, Jokowi said, must be optimally utilized by creating added value to it. “It’s for the welfare of the community,” he said.
Therefore, the President keeps pushing for the development of downstream mining industries. So that Indonesia would earn more money from its mineral wealth, not only from raw natural resources, Jokowi said.
“Don’t stop at owning the mines and the ores while the smelters are in other countries. As Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs [Airlangga Hartarto] said, there are smelters in Spain, in Japan, those countries are the ones who enjoy the added value,” he said.
Jokowi said the government wanted every mining company to develop downstream industries in the country. He said it would reduce exports of raw natural resources and provide economic multiplier effects, as well as increasing state revenue.
“I will order every company, both private and state-owned enterprises related to mineral and coal mining, to do downstream industry so that the commodities have higher value, we don’t ship them raw,” said Jokowi.
Further, he stated that the construction of the Freeport smelter was a strategic policy taken after the government had controlled 51 percent of the mining giant’s shares. “Once again, we want the added value to be here in Indonesia,” the President said.
Also present at the groundbreaking ceremony were Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, State-owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif, and Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita. (Advertorial/*)