Indonesia's Antam 2018 profit surges on robust nickel sales

Indonesian state miner PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) targets to start operation of its ferronickel smelter in East Halmahera in the second half of this year, with initial production target of around 5,000 tonnes of nickel in ferronickel (TNi), Finance Director Dimas Wikan Pramudhito said.

The plant will have a production capacity of 13,500 TNi, increasing Antam's overall ferronickel production capacity to 40,500 TNi per year, Pramudhito said.

Antam targets to start construction of a smelter-grade alumina refinery in Mempawah, West Kalimantan this year, which is expected to have 1 million tonnes output capacity on its first stage of completion.

Antam controls 40 percent of the West Kalimantan project, with the other 60 percent controlled by state mining holding company PT Inalum.

"At the moment Antam and Inalum are ready to proceed with this project. If there are partners, it would be even better, but we (state miners) have to have a majority control," Pramudhito said.

Antam also targets a nickel pig iron blast furnace plant in East Halmahera to start operating in the fourth quarter of 2020.

(By Wilda Asmarini and Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)