Indonesia's key minerals output expected to plunge in 2011

13:18, January 07, 2010      

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Production of three key minerals will plunge in 2011 as technical problems and other delays take their toll, the Jakarta Globe reported on Thursday.

Bambang Setiawan, the director general of coal, minerals and geothermal energy at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said that copper output is forecasted to tumble by 36.67 percent from this year's target of 1.01 million tons.

Meanwhile, gold output is expected to fall by 21.4 percent from11,998 kilograms, and silver production is expected to shrink by 5.8 percent from 261,897 kilograms.

The local subsidiary of US giant Newmont Mining, NNT has projected that its output of copper, gold and silver will plunge over the next three years because of the long delay in obtaining land-use approval for its new Elang project.

NNT applied for a forest land-use permit for new projects in West Nusa Tenggara in 2005, but approval was not received until May 2009.

The company's gold production is expected to plunge by 66.3 percent from 777,104 ounces this year to 261,922 ounces in 2011.

Its copper output is projected to tumble 54 percent to 265.1 million pounds in 2011, from 572.8 million pounds this year. A further drop to 196.6 million pounds is expected in 2012.

The estimation for silver is not much brighter, with 2011 output tipped to nosedive 64 percent to 947,272 ounces from 2,619,420 ounces this year. It may drop further to 479,088 ounces in 2012.

Bambang said on Wednesday that technical issues, including maintenance, would contribute to the shrinking output.

Indonesia will not produce any diamonds this year as the major diamond company, PT Galuh Cempaka, jointly owned by London-based Gem Diamonds and state-owned PT Aneka Tambang, has halted operations due to the slump in diamond prices and environmental issues. Bambang added.

Source: Xinhua
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