On a non-deal roadshow to Australia this week, president director of Indonesian mining company PT Aneka Tambang, Dedi Aditya Sumanagara, met with investors and spoke to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) about improving the liquidity of its local stock.

The company is about to report on its financial performance for 2003 and has already flagged a 19% increase in sales revenues to Rp2.04 trillion. Profits are also expected to increase given the rising price of nickel and gold on the global commodity markets which has helped to boost margins.

"Investors have been asking us about the impact of rising metal prices and have also been quizzing us on new developments," Sumanagara told FinanceAsia in Sydney. "We have briefed them about the expansion of our ferronickel plant in Southeast Sulawesi."

Aneka Tambang raised money for the plant's expansion in October last year after delaying the project for several years. Detailed engineering and geographical observation is now underway on the project which will eventually see the company double the plant's output from 11,000 tonnes per year to 26,000 tonnes. The enlarged plant is expected to be in commercial operation by the first quarter of 2006.

"We have also talked to investors about the plan to produce chemical grade alumina from our bauxite deposits in Kalimantan," says Sumanagara. "We will build the facility through partnerships with international companies."

The company met with officials from the ASX on Wednesday to talk about boosting the liquidity of its local CHESS Depository Interests (CDIs). Each CDI represents five of the company's underlying common shares traded in Indonesia but the Australian stock trades at a significant discount to the common stock. "Currently there are about 900,000 CDIs trading in Australia, with only a handful of trades occurring each year."

Sumanagara says one way of increasing liquidity might be for the company to issue more CDIs. "But we would only do this if it made sense for the capital structure of the company," he says.

Aneka Tambang first listed in Sydney in 1999 and is now the only Indonesian company on the ASX with a full listing.