IN A bid to reduce the impact of Indonesia’s new ban on exports of unprocessed mineral ore, PT Antam (Persero) Tbk plans to increase gold and ferronickel sales. The company says the plan has been formulated in anticipation of lower revenue and returns to stakeholders owing to the introduction of Government Regulation No 1 Year 2014.

Antam is targeting 66% higher gold sales to 13.6 tonnes in 2014, compared to 8.2 tonnes in 2013. It is also targeting ferronickel production of 20,000 tonnes of nickel contained in ferronickel (TNi) in 2014, an 11% increase over the 2013 production target of 18,000 TNi.

The company also expects commercial operation of the Tayan Chemical Grade Alumina plant in West Kalimantan to commence in the first half of 2014. This plant will have an annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes of chemical grade alumina.

Antam’s president director Tato Miraza says, “We fully support the government’s policy in prohibiting exports of unprocessed mineral ore and requiring mining industry players, holders of IUPs and COWs, to build downstream processing and refining facilities.

“We had, however, hoped that mineral exports would have been extended until at least 2017 for companies that already own processing and refining facilities, particularly those in the midst of building downstream facilities, including Antam. The extension of ore exports for companies committed to building processing and refining facilities in Indonesia would have provided significant cash flow to complete construction of the downstream facilities, notably during current bearish commodity price environment.

“Nevertheless, we understand before making its decision, the Government has reviewed all aspects in an integrated and comprehensive manner to minimize the risks and negative impact.

“In line with the implementation of Government Regulation No 1 Year 2014, which prohibits export of unprocessed ore from Indonesia, notably nickel and bauxite ore, we have formulated a strategic plan to anticipate lower revenue and returns to our stakeholders. We believe the implementation of the company’s strategy and initiatives will continue to create a sound performance.”

As part of the company’s efforts to increase gold sales and expand retail gold market, Antam will open up to 10 gold retail outlets in 2014, following the opening of five new outlets in Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Makassar and Palembang in 2013. To support marketing of ferronickel and other commodities, in mid-January Antam opened a representative office in Shanghai, China, which serves as a marketing office for the China region. It also plans to increase coal trading activities, augment bold efficiency measures and accelerate completion of the Pomalaa Ferronickel Plant Expansion Project.

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