Antam Is Going Solo for $1b Smelter
State miner Aneka Tambang said on Thursday that it would go it alone on a $1 billion smelter-grade alumina plant in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, after China’s Hangzhou Jinjiang Group pulled out of the project.
“We’ll carry the project alone. We are not seeking another partner,” said Alwinsyah Lubis, the president director of Aneka Tambang (Antam).
He said that despite the loss of the partner, the Jakarta-based company would not tweak the original plan to build a plant capable of processing four million wet metric tons of bauxite ore into one million metric tons of alumina, the raw material for aluminium, annually.
It intends to sell the alumina domestically.
Antam and Hangzhou Jinjiang signed a deal in April 2010 for the project. The Chinese conglomorate initially planned to own a 51 percent stake in the project.
Local media reported last August that there was a disagreement between the companies and the deal fell apart. No details were given.
Work on the plant had been scheduled to get under way in 2010 but they have not yet broken ground on it. Alwinsyah said Antam was reviewing the project’s original feasibility study.
He said the company had yet to address financing for the Pontianak plant because it had been focused on other projects. That includes seeking financing for a $450 million chemical-grade alumina plant in Tayan, West Kalimantan, and a $1.6 billion ferronickel smelter in East Halmahera, North Maluku.
“We may seek for financing for the SGA project after we secure [financing] for the other two projects,” he said.
Meanwhile, Antam’s finance director, Djaja Tambunan, said the management would propose a dividend payout of 35 to 45 percent from last year’s net income.
He said the dividend payment would not hurt financing for the company’s big projects.
Antam has not released its full-year 2011 net income figure. In the first nine months of 2011, its profit jumped 64 percent to Rp 1.56 trillion ($175 million), thanks to increases in the sales volumes and prices of gold and ferronickel.
Antam is involved in nickel, gold, bauxite and iron sand mining. Its share price fell 1.04 percent to Rp 1,910 on the Indonesia Stock Exchange on Thursday.