Indonesian “Value Adding” laws introduced in 2009 prevent the export of minerals unless the mineral has been “upgraded” in Indonesia. Whilst there are several small silicomanganese smelters in Indonesia, there is not any significant facility for the production of high grade ferromanganese alloy.
As a result, Gulf identified the opportunity to build a ferromanganese smelting hub in Timor, near the city of Kupang. The project is based upon the fact that there are many high grade (48%+) manganese outcrops in the islands of Indonesia, specifically in and around West Timor including the island of Flores. This is the highest-grade ore in the market today.
By purchasing Indonesian manganese ore at the smelter gate, Gulf will also provide a route to market for Indonesian miners in a province that needs meaningful employment and a diversity in industry, with cement manufacturing really the only industry in the province. The quality of the ore will implicitly produce some of the highest quality alloy in the market.