The miner said it is now forecast that copper supply will not meet demand in the foreseeable future, with most market analysts suggesting that the gap between supply and demand is widening and are expecting a prolonged period of strong prices.
Many of the major economies are planning large infrastructure-related development programs focussed on decarbonisation and the transition to renewable energy and electrification of transport.
Copper is expected to be a major beneficiary of these policies as the energy transition will require significant additional copper supply over and above the current baseload requirements, Asiamet said.
This anticipated surge in demand comes at a time when supply is likely to be constrained due to prolonged underinvestment in exploration and new mine development, it added.
The group received approvals from the Government of Indonesia for the environmental permit and the Indonesian Feasibility Study.
It is currently advancing the final major permit required for mine development, being the “Pinjam Pakai” or “Borrow and Use” permit from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
This complex and detailed process requires several key sub-permits which are expected to be received during 2021, the firm said.
It also intends to restart field activities at Beutong during 2021 with increased community engagement and a plan to drill extensions below the current defined resource envelope.
Some metallurgical test work to better understand the development optionality for the project is also planned.
Last year it relocated the corporate head office from Melbourne to Jakarta as it moves into the development phase of the BKM Project.
In the year to 31 December, Asiamet posted a total loss of US$4mln from US$7mln in 2019 and concluded the period with US$1mln in cash. It then raised US$3.9mln through a placing in March.
Shares rose 1% to 2.35p on Monday before close.