American copper producer Freeport McMoRan is likely to close a $2.8bn deal with China’s Tsingshan Holding Group to build a copper smelter in Weda Bay, Indonesia.
Indonesia’s senior minister Luhut Pandjaitan told the local media that the smelter will produce copper pipes and wires valued at $10bn annually, along with battery components, which will serve the electric vehicle (EV) industry. Pandjaitan noted that the government had requested Freeport to set up the mentioned smelter last year to set up an integrated smelting hub in Weda Bay.
The country continues to capitalize on the growing demand for nickel-rich batteries in EVs to utilize the large nickel resource present in the region. According to reports, a nickel plant is to be set up by 2023 and produce batteries as an end product. Setting up of the copper smelter will add another part of the EV supply chain to Indonesia.