Russia’s Norilsk nickel, the world’s largest nickel and palladium producer, is interested in acquiring control over coal mines in Indonesia as a part of a major railway project between the two countries.
Norilsk said in a statement Indonesia’s Chief Economic minister Hatta Rajasa and Norilsk chief executive officer (CEO) Vladimir Strzhalkovsky discussed a set of possible coal projects at Tuesday’s meeting in Moscow.
The company did not specify the projects.
The parties also talked over a mutual project of Norilsk and Indonesian firm Nusantara Smelting Corp, which envisages construction of a copper smelter in Indonesia with a capacity of 400,000 tonnes per year.
The two companies agreed to start framing the project’s blue print by the end of the year, Norilsk said in the statement.
Indonesia together with Russia’s state firm Russian Railways (RZhD) plan a $2.4 billion rail line on Borneo island, which, at early stages, is set to be used for transporting coal.
The railway in East Kalimantan province is expected to be launched by the first quarter of 2017 and is meant to revive the island’s worn down infrastructure, which hinders exports of key commodities and thus hampers the country’s economic growth.
Indonesia, the leading economy in the southeast Asia, is the world’s top producer of palm oil, the biggest exporter of refined tin and thermal coal, and is also a major nickel miner.
The country is home to the world’s second-largest copper mine and the largest gold mine.