Low possibility for earlier ban on Indonesian bauxite export

----Interview with Mr. Biguang Huang
General Manager
PT. Telaga Bintan Jaya

  • Asian Metal: Thanks for your time to join this interview. Based on the current policy, Indonesia is going to ban bauxite export from Jan, 2022. A market rumor spreads that the ban may come earlier. What is your opinion?
  • Mr. Huang: So far as I know, Indonesia will ban nickel ore export from early next year, but not for bauxite, as there are not many alumina refineries in Indonesia now.
  • Asian Metal: When did TBJ receive the bauxite export quota? Have you started export and how about the quality?
  • Mr. Huang: We got a bauxite export quota with a volume of 2.2 million tonnes this July and are preparing good quality bauxite for export. Currently, we have bauxite Al2O3 45%min SiO2 12%max and need to improve to Al2O3 47%min SiO2 10%max.
  • Asian Metal: Where are your bauxite mines and how many do you have? How about the reserves and annual production capacity?
  • Mr. Huang: We have four bauxite mines in total, three in Singkept Island with the estimated reserves of around 60 million tonnes and one in Bintan Island with the reserves at around 10 million tonnes. Currently, we are developing mines in Singkept Island with an annual production capacity of 2 million tonnes.
  • Asian Metal: What is your aimed bauxite production for this year and the plan for 2020?
  • Mr. Huang: We plan to produce around 2 million tonnes in 2020 and now hold around 300,000t in stock.
  • Asian Metal: When did TBJ start bauxite export? Do you start new negotiations with Chinese buyers now?
  • Mr. Huang: We started bauxite export from 2009 and suspended in late 2013 for the bauxite ban starting in early 2014. We once exported 300,000-400,000tpm. Negotiations with some Chinese buyers are moving on.
  • Asian Metal: Malaysia will reopen bauxite export in Kuantan from next January. Will that affect Indonesian bauxite export? What is your opinion?
  • Mr. Huang: Yes, there will be influences to some extent. Therefore, we need to improve bauxite quality.
  • Asian Metal: Where will you build an alumina refinery and how about the annual production capacity?
  • Mr. Huang: It is planned in Singkept Island with the annual production capacity of 1 million tonnes and budget of around USD600 million.
  • Asian Metal: From early this year, more alumina refineries in Shanxi and Henan of China turned to use imported bauxite. How do you think of the future demand from China?
  • Mr. Huang: I believe the demand from China will continue to rise, as there will be more new alumina refineries. Finally, I would like to stress that we have good conditions for alumina refinery investment in Indonesia and welcome Chinese investors.
  • Asian Metal: Thanks for your time again and wish good bauxite sales to China.
  • Mr. Huang: Thanks for the opportunity.