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Those involved and excelling in innovation (from left to right): Mohammad Adithya Putra, Kiagus Zulkifli, Abdurahman, and Lutfiyah Dea Gita. [PHOTO: Dino Musida/BKP-BTR]

Innovation Award Winners from Wetar Copper Mine

Three BKP-BTR employees scored achievements in the Innovation Award event. Thanks to the concept of increasing production by 15 percent, Oman is the best.

Operations of the Wetar Copper Mine on Friday, April 1 went as normal: those in the office were busy with administration, and those in the field were doing their respective tasks. By evening, the atmosphere changed. Abdurrahman’s name was suddenly widely discussed verbally and in WhatsApp text messages among Batutua Kharisma Permai and Batutua Tembaga Raya (BKP-BTR), the company that operates copper mining and processing on Wetar Island.

What’s wrong with Abdurrahman? The commotion arose because Merdeka Copper Gold in Jakarta, the holding company of the Wetar Copper Mine, had just announced that Abdurrahman was the first winner in the Innovation Award, a competition for innovation creation between employees to increase safety and production, as well as save costs and improve the environment.

The names of the winners were announced that day. The competition itself has been going on since October 2021. The selection is done in stages, each site or subsidiary sends five names, then by the committee at the head office these names are assessed again until 10 finalists appear.

Which one is Abdurrahman? Commonly called Oman, huh? Uh, which Oman is that? What did he do? Where is she? Can you send the photo? Questions like these are milling about.

When his name began to be mentioned, the owner himself was in one of the rooms in the Recreation Hall, a sports facility and meeting for BKP-BTR employees, for the presentation process and the jury’s assessment of the top 10 Innovation Award finalists which took place via the Zoom application. In the same room were Kiagus Zulkifli and Lutfiyah Dea Gita, two other finalists from Wetar, and Mohammad Adithya Putra—a friend who also helped Oman in compiling the competition materials.

“Yes! Alhamdulillah!”

Zulkifli exclaimed when his name appeared on the screen as the first runner-up. He received applause from others, including two BKP-BTR staff who helped facilitate the event, Rada Maruto, and Mariska Sindy Lontoh. After a while, the name ABDURRAHMAN – WETAR appeared on the screen as the first winner. Applause immediately erupted in the room. Oman who has a calm demeanor just smiles back, his lips moving to say alhamdulillah. Thanks to his victory, Oman received prize money of IDR30 million.

Naturally, Oman is not well known on the Wetar site. He has only been joining BKP-BTR for seven months, since October 2021 to be exact. This Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Indonesia is assigned to the Plant Metallurgist Section – Crushing Heapleach, Processing Department. The man from Padang admitted that he took part in the competition because he wanted to gain experience and compete to be the best in terms of improvement and efficiency. For him, the competition is also a moment to hone himself in thinking carefully, working together in a team, and practicing his ability to speak in public.

In the Innovation Award, Oman submitted the topic of Cost Efficiency to Production Wetar Copper Mine in the Crushing-Heapleach Sector. This topic is a proposed step to change the production method which experienced a decline in the previous year. “This topic has been implemented as a project and has resulted in a 15 percent increase in production,” said Oman. The project was carried out by Oman with two of his colleagues, Adhit and Kemi Kharisma, both of whom also work in the metallurgical department. They prepared a project for two months and collaborated with other related departments. “We also get guidance from the senior metallurgists here,” said Oman.

Meanwhile, Zukifli from Palembang presented his idea about financing drilling and blasting. The proposal is how to reduce funding by reducing the use of explosives and their accessories. This Bachelor of Mining Engineering from Sriwijaya University is motivated to participate in the Innovation Award because he is concerned with efforts to increase production while saving production costs. Zulkifli, who has been working in the Mine Planning – Mining Department since 2019, tested his proposal from June to September 2021 with six colleagues and under the guidance of the mining technical leaders at the Wetar Copper Mine, namely Edi Widodo and Muhamad Faizal.

Meanwhile, Lutfiyah, who is usually called Upi, joined the competition, one of which was because of the attractive prize money. The innovation proposed by Upi, who works in Processing – Operations, is how to create added value from used waste into metal commodities. This Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) got the idea from his colleague Brian Swahadana, fellow ITB alumni.

The idea arose when there was a problem related to the storage and management of waste that was categorized as hazardous and toxic (B3) and BKP-BTR did not have an adequate place to store lead waste, which included B3 in large quantities. The Upi project, which is also assisted by Brian Swahadana and Alvi Adli, also alumni of ITB, offers an effort that can eliminate the risk of environmental pollution due to B3 waste as well as eliminate the cost of procuring storage facilities or handing over management to third parties. “From the calculation simulation that we carried out starting in mid-2021, savings could be made of up to 40 percent,” said Upi, an employee from Cirebon, who is now in his fourth year at Wetar. For this project, Upi got the eighth position.

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