Freeport, Tsingshan finalising $2.8bn copper smelter next week

Image: Tsingshan Holding Group

Freeport-McMoRan Inc will sign a $2.8 billion deal with China’s Tsingshan Holding Group on March 31 to build a copper smelter in Indonesia’s Weda Bay, senior minister Luhut Panjaitan said on Wednesday.

The smelter will have an input capacity of 2.4 million tonnes of copper concentrate and an output capacity of 600,000 tonnes, a slide presented by Luhut at a live broadcast on CNBC Indonesia showed.

“This will be part of the lithium battery production that we plan to do in 2023,” he added.

Luhut said last month that the smelter will produce copper pipes and wires of which output can be worth $10 billion or more.

Indonesia is trying to attract more investments from battery and car companies to take advantage of the country’s rich nickel ore resource, an important component in batteries used in electric vehicles.

Tsingshan did not immediately respond when contacted by Reuters.

A spokesman for Freeport’s Indonesian unit could not be immediately reached for comment.

(By Fathin Ungku, Bernadette Christina Munthe and Tom Daly; Editing by Martin Petty)

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