Antam, Rusal may build alumina smelter

Ika Krismantari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

State-owned miner PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) is set to team up with a Russian mining firm, Rusal, to conduct a feasibility study on the construction of an alumina smelter in Tayan, West Kalimantan, Aneka's senior executive says.

President director Deddy Aditya Sumanegara said Tuesday the plant, which it is estimated would cost around US$1.5 billion, would have a production capacity of 1 to 1.2 million tons per year.

"The study will take almost a year, then we'll decide whether to go ahead with the project. If the study shows that it is not feasible, then we will not continue," Deddy said.

He added that the company was conducting a feasibility study with a Chinese investor on the building of another alumina smelter at a nearby location. That project would have the capacity of 600,000 tons per year.

He refused to reveal the Chinese firm's name.

Previously, Antam entered into agreements with two Japanese companies -- Showa Denco and Marubeni Corporation -- and Singapore's Straits Trading Amalgamated Resources Pte. Ltd., to build another alumina plant with a capacity of 300,000 tons, also in the same place, at a total cost of $220 million.

That plant is expected to be in production by 2010.

Tayan is estimated to have bauxite reserves of 100 million tons.
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