Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Since 2020, the government has banned the import of nickel ore from abroad. But recently it was discovered that there were “rogue” companies that were importing. The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Arifin Tasrif also opened his voice regarding the existence of a smelter company from Indonesia that imports nickel ore from abroad. Especially nickel that comes from the Philippines.
Arifin assessed that the company’s decision to purchase nickel ore from the Philippines was due to the stagnation in the supply of raw materials from the Mandiodo Block. Meanwhile, the Mandiodo Block mining operation is currently being stopped following a corruption case in the IUP area owned by PT Antam.
“We have investigated the news. There are indications that the importing company is a company that has been sourcing raw materials from the Mandiodo Block, which is currently in trouble,” said Arifin in a joint Working Meeting with Commission VII DPR, quoted on Saturday (2/9/2023) .
Because the company has to continue the processing process and is bound by a contract with an off taker, the move to purchase nickel ore from abroad must finally be done.
“They are taking this step because overall, because they are not allowed to export nickel ore, all mining producers are tied to the ongoing off-taker smelter,” he said.
As is known, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources recently revealed that there are companies from Indonesia that carry out activities to purchase nickel ore from abroad. Even though Indonesia itself is the largest nickel producing country in the world today.
Plt. The Director General of Mineral and Coal at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Muhammad Wafid, disclosed that the company in question was importing nickel ore from the Philippines. They reasoned that the import of nickel ore was carried out due to a lack of domestic supply of raw materials.
“There is an issue of nickel being imported from the Philippines because the smelter lacks material,” said Wafid.
Even so, Wafid ensured that based on calculations of the entire published nickel Financial Plan and Budget (RKAB), nickel ore supply for smelters in the country should be sufficient.
“I said that I am trying to calculate all the RKAB that we have agreed on, how much nickel input is needed and the output is still sufficient. There is no shortage around North Sulawesi, so we have to import, maybe something else,” said Wafid.
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