Rio Tinto Indonesia, which was owned by Conzinc Rio Tinto Australia, engaged with British Petroleum (BP) to collaborate in coal exploration activities in Indonesia.
The Government of Indonesia invited foreign companies to join coal exploration tenders for East Kalimantan and South Kalimantan areas.
PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) signed a Coal Contract of Work (CCoW) with Perum Tambang Batu, which is now known as PT Tambang Bara Bukit Asam (PTBA) that represented the Government of Indonesia. The contract agreement covers exploration, production and marketing activities. Then during 1982-1986 KPC conducted comprehensive exploration activities in the contract area.
Construction started with a total investment of US$ 570 million.
Mining activities started in June 1990.
Commissioning was conducted for main projects, which include crusher, coal preparation plant, overland conveyor, stacker, reclaimer and shiploader. In the same year, KPC commenced coal shipment of more than 2.1 million tons of coal.
Surpassed KPC’s initially designed production capacity of 7 million tons of coal per year. That year KPC shipped more than 7.3 million tons of coal.
PT. Bumi Resources Tbk acquired KPC in 2003. In the same year, KPC continued to grow with production capacity of 16.4 million tons of coal, and further reached 56.97 million tons in 2017. In 2017, KPC also started to operate a 3×18 MW steam power plant (PLTU) where 1x18MW supports the electrification of the communities in East Kutai.