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Indonesia's new mining conglomerate is ready to compete globally

Inalum now controls metal and coal interests, but rivals elsewhere remain hard to catch

Indonesia Asahan Aluminium President Budi Gunadi Sadikin, second from left, poses with the presidents of three new mining subsidiaries after a news conference in Jakarta on Nov. 29. (photo by Wataru Suzuki)

JAKARTA The day began with dozens of Indonesian government officials and state mining executives shuffling in and out of marathon meetings at one of Jakarta's oldest hotels. By late afternoon of Nov. 29, they had opened a new chapter in the country's efforts to revitalize the mining sector.

Indonesia Asahan Aluminium, a state-owned aluminum refiner known as Inalum, was transformed into a holding company that controls nonferrous-metal producer Aneka Tambang, coal company Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam and tin miner Timah. The government's 65% stake in each of the three listed companies has been transferred to Inalum. The remaining shares will remain publicly traded.

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