Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BHP Billiton Scraps Plan To Quit Indonesia?

Compiled from the original source: Tempo Interactive, Bloomberg News, and Business Spectator

Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton has scrapped its plan to leave Indonesia, the energy department said.

Bambang Setiawan, Director General of Mineral, Coal and Geothermal of the Energy And Mineral Resources Department, said BHP Billiton is going to form joint ventures, and seeking to control a majority of stake in the cooperations.

Setiawan said the firm had informally notified the government on the possible joint-venture option. About 10 companies are interested in the joint venture scheme, Bambang said without disclosing them.

Meanwhile BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, said “a number” of groups are interested in buying its Maruwai coal project in Indonesia.

“We continue to review our commercial options in relation to the Maruwai coal project which includes the potential full or part sale of our interests,” Peter Ogden, a spokesman for the Melbourne-based company said by telephone today. “An expression of interest process involving a number of parties” is continuing, he said.

In June, BHP Billiton said it would not go ahead with the Haju trial coal mine in Central Kalimantan because it did not fit with its long-term investment strategy. The company operates seven mining concessions projects and employs around 450 workers.

Haju was stage one of the Maruwai coal project, the 100 per cent BHP Billiton owned metallurgical coal deposit, in Central Kalimantan which was expected to produce 1 million tonnes of metallurgical coal - used for steel-making - per year.

PT Medco Energi Internasional, PT Adaro Energy, PT Aneka Tambang and PT Indika Energy are among companies interested in the project, Bambang Setiawan, a director general of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry told reporters .

In November last year, BHP decided also to scrap a study into developing an integrated nickel project in eastern Indonesia which was under a conditional agreement with Indonesian state miner PT Aneka Tambang Tbk.