Mitsubishi Materials to Expand Indonesian Copper Smelting

Mitsubishi Materials will expand the electrolytic copper output capacity to annual 300,000 tonnes at Indonesian subsidiary, PT Smelting after the firm finished the second phase expansion from 255,000 tonnes to 270,000 tonnes recently. The firm decided another expansion to increase output depending on the demand when the demand keeps growing in China, India and other developing countries. The firm controls 60.5% of PT Smelting with 25% share by Freeport Indonesia, 9.5% by Mitsubishi Corporation and 5% by Nippon Mining & Metals. The joint venture established in February 1996 started commercial operation with Mitsubishi’s continuous smelting know how at annual 220,000 tonnes of capacity in May 1999. The JV expanded the capacity to 255,000 tonnes in April 2004. The JV’s electrolytic copper sales increased by 21% to 263,000 tonnes for the year to March 2006 with growing world demand from 217,000 tonnes in previous year. The operating profit increased to 2.6 times at 6.4 billion yen with 60% higher sales at 160 billion yen. The cumulative loss decreased from just less than 20 billion yen to 10 billion yen. The JV expects the electrolytic copper sales will decrease by 1.5% to 259,000 tonnes for the year ending March 2007 from previous year after the 3 weeks long maintenance from May 14. The firm expanded the capacity to 270,000 tonnes by expanding electrolytic bath for several billion yen.