Eramet to increase investment in nickel mining in Indonesia

Eramet to increase investment in nickel mining in Indonesia

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) with Chairman and CEO Eramet Group, Patrick Buffet (second from right) in Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Wednesday. (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - French mining company Eramet plans to increase its investment in nickel mining in Indonesia eastern region of Halmahera, North Maluku.

The company`s president and chief executive officer, M Patrick Buffet said at the presidential office here on Wednesday after meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that the company would invest until US$6 billion in the project which is now already under construction.

"Eramet will spend US$450 million for the development project and will increase the investment by up to $3 billion with a nickel production target of 35,000 tons a year in the first phase," he said.

In the long-term he said the company would increase the production target to 65,000 tons.

As the project is one of Eramet`s huge projects the company would develop supporting facilities including a power plant, a water treatment plant, an air strip and housing.

"The company also plans to train workers needed for the operational phase," he said.

Indonesia`s chief economic minister Hatta Rajasa, who accompanied the Eramet chief in the meeting with President Yudhoyono, meanwhile said that the project was part of the MP3EI Corridor 5 development plan covering Papua, Maluku and North Maluku.

"The project uses technology which is sustainable and environment friendly. The ground breaking of the project was already done on May 27, 2011," he said.

Hatta said in the meeting President Yudhoyono welcomed the investment plan of Eramet and Weda Bay Nickel in North Maluku and hoped it could give an added value and benefit to the local people in various fields.

Eramet and Weda Bay Nickel in the nickel mining project have pledged to absorb as many as 6,000 workers in the operational phase.

Buffet in the meeting with President Yudhoyono was accompanied by Bertrand Madelin from Eramet, Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas, commissioner of the Weda Bay Nickel and Alain Giraud, the president director of Weda Bay Nickel.

President Yudhoyono meanwhile was accompany by Hatta Rajasa, minister of mining Darwin Zahedi Saleh, minister/state secetarary Sudi Silalahi and cabinet secretary Dipo Alam.