Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The government’s plan to impose a moratorium on the construction of new nickel smelters is in sight. This is followed by the increasing presence of nickel smelters in Indonesia.
Special Staff to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources for the Acceleration of Industrial Development for the ESDM sector, Agus Tjahajana Wirakusumah said the new nickel smelter moratorium will only target smelters with Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace (RKEF) technology. The smelter produces second class nickel processed products in the form of nickel pig iron (NPI) and ferronickel (FeNi).
“Right now the number is very large, from our data there are almost 97 projects. So yes, of course we have to consider that much whether there are reserves or not,” he said in the CNBC Indonesia Mining Zone program, quoted on Wednesday (23/8/ 2023).
Even so, Agus ensured that the government would continue to open the construction of new smelters for other types. For example, a nickel smelter with hydrometallurgical technology, known as a High Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) smelter for electric vehicle battery raw materials.
“It does not mean that all smelters to be closed as requested by the Minister are pyrometallurgical but not hydrometallurgical. Our hydrometallurgy is still open for that,” he said.
He also estimates that the durability of Indonesia’s nickel reserves is only in the range of 10-15 years. Therefore, exploration activities to obtain new reserves are important to be carried out immediately.
“Earlier, it was stated that reserves are estimated to be between 10 and 15 years from Minerba, maybe 13 years in the middle. Something like that, that’s what we have to see,” added Agus.
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