TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - State-Owned Enterprises or SOE Minister Erick Thohir said the investment project of Freeport Indonesia's smelter in Gresik Special Economic Zone, East Java, amounted to IDR 42 trillion. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo inaugurated the groundbreaking of the project's construction on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
The smelter would serve to purify copper and produce a copper cathode, as well as to refine precious metals to produce gold, silver, and other precious metals.
"So we can later produce an average of 35 tons of gold per year with a transaction value of IDR 30 trillion," Erick said as broadcasted via Youtube on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
The smelter project was estimated to absorb 40,000 workers during the construction. "Earlier, Bu Governor [East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa] demanded the majority of workers be from East Java if possible, so there will certainly be job openings," Erick added.
On the same occasion, President Jokowi said that the construction of the smelter was one of the government's strategic policies related to the copper industry following Indonesia's control over 51 percent of Freeport's shares.
"This will provide added value for the country, meaning it will provide higher income to the country, then create more jobs," Jokowi said.
Jokowi also said many people do not know that Indonesia is among the seven countries that own the largest copper reserves in the world. This potential, he added, must be benefitted as well as possible and as much as possible for the prosperity of the people.
CAESAR AKBAR | DEWI NURITA