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Indonesia was among the world's top five producers of nickel ore in 1989, although Canada and the then-Soviet Union produced much greater quantities. The major nickel mining operations were run by P.T. Aneka Tambang (also known by the abbreviated P.T. Antam), the Indonesian government mining firm, and by P.T. Inco, an international firm owned primarily by the Canadian firm Inco Limited, with a minority share owned by Sumitomo Metal Mining Company of Japan. At its integrated nickel complex at the Soroako Concession in Sumatera Selatan Province, P.T. Inco processed ore into nickel matte, which was then exported to Japan. Plans were underway in 1989 to expand the capacity of the complex from 35,000 tons to 47,630 tons capacity. P.T. Inco also planned to issue from US$300 million to US$400 million in stock shares on the Jakarta Stock Exchange in 1990 to meet the 20 percent domestic equity ownership requirement mandated in its 1967 contract with the Indonesian government. P.T. Aneka Tambang had mine operations in the Pomalaa area of Sulawesi Selatan Province and on Gebe Island, Maluku Province. A joint venture between P.T. Aneka Tambang and Australian Queensland Nickel planned to open a new nickel mine on Gag Island, Irian Jaya Province, in 1991. P.T. Aneka Tambang also operated a ferronickel processing plant in Sumatera Selatan Province with a capacity of 4,800 tons per year of contained nickel. Total nickel ore reserves in Indonesia represented 12 percent of world reserves, or 367 million tons with a nickel content between 1.5 to 2 percent.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress