Many experts are asking to stop the new nickel plant, here’s why..

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Jakarta, Klinik Farma – Mining specialists of the DPR RI have asked the government to stop construction or impose a moratorium on the construction of new nickel processing and refining facilities (metallurgical plants) in the country.

This is because nickel reserves in Indonesia are depleting and it is even predicted that these reserves may run out within the next 7 years.

Indonesian Mining Association (IMA)

IMA Acting Chief Executive Joko Vidayatno, Chief Executive Officer, has urged the government to adopt a policy to immediately restrict the construction of first-class nickel smelters producing nickel pig iron (NPI) and feronickel (FeNi).

which is given that nickel reserves in Indonesia are depleting and are projected to run out within the next 7 years.

Joko said that the depletion of domestic nickel stocks was due to increased demand for Tier 1 nickel smelter supplies if the nickel smelter development plan is fully implemented.

However, the current state is that there are integrated smelters and stand-alone smelters, the number of integrated smelters is between 22 and 28, and if there are 104 integrated smelters, there will be 132 smelters. So if we look at 132 compared to the 22 planned smelters, then of course the ore requirement will quadruple to 497 or 400 million crude tons of nickel, making it a 7 year old,” Joko explained to CNBC in Indonesia in Mining Zone. program, cited on Tuesday (15/15/2019. 8/2023).

In addition, he said that up to 136 smelters are expected to be completed by 2025. Currently, Joko said that the need for nickel is still in the range of 200 million tons per year.

“But this is the final count, which is estimated to be completed later, 136 (smelters) in 2025. While this is still in the 200 million ton range, I’m sure it could take 7 years with the current feature. ,” he added.

Commission VII DNR RI

Member of Commission 7 of the DPR RI Mulyanto said that the government is in no hurry to solve the problem of depletion of nickel reserves. He estimated that with the remaining term, calculated now, namely 7 years, this is not so long.

“In our opinion, the government is slow and does not take this issue seriously. In our opinion, this has long been discussed in the DPR. producing pig iron of the first type, ferronickel, etc.,” Mulyanto explained to CNBC in Indonesia in the Mining Zone program, quoted on Tuesday (August 15, 2023).

In addition, Mulyanto also said that Indonesia should maintain its current nickel reserves. He said the government should have banned the export of semi-finished nickel, which has a content of 4%-10%.

“So why is it the remaining 7 years, if the numbers are accurate, then 7 years will be tight. Soon, especially if political calculations do not reach one and a half of this period. We are not exporting a valuable natural resource. NPI 1.7% is only 4 -10%, we export these pieces,” he added.

Meanwhile, he also said that the saprolite, which belongs to Indonesia, can be processed into goods that have an even higher value. What’s more, Muglianto said, NPI’s processed saprolite that is exported is tax-free.

“It’s a shame that our nickel saprolite, which is 1.7%, is only recycled to become NPI. I think we should put an end to this half-hearted downward movement. NPI is still being exported without taxes again,” he said.

Association of Mining Experts of Indonesia (PERHAPI)

The Indonesian Association of Mining Experts (Perhapi) has asked the government to immediately stop or impose a moratorium on the construction of new nickel processing and refining facilities (smelters) in the country. This is due to the fact that the stocks of the strategic raw material for the mining industry, namely Nickel RI, are estimated to be depleting and will not last long.

Perhapi chairman Rizal Kasli said his party had several times proposed to the government that a moratorium be imposed on nickel smelters.

“We have proposed several times to introduce a moratorium on the construction of pyrometallurgical plants, because they use the minimum amount of high-quality nickel ore, saprolite. If this continues, we are concerned that the sustainability of nickel reserves will be threatened,” Rizal explained. on Klinik Farma on Mining Zone, cited Monday (14) August 2023).

Rizal explained that nickel ore is divided into two types. Firstly, nickel ore with a high content above 1.5% or saprolite, which is processed in a pyrometallurgical plant. The second type is low grade nickel ore or limonite, which is processed in a hydrometallurgical smelter or by high pressure acid leaching (HPAL).

As for saprolite, Rizal explained that its reserves are not as large as those of limonite. According to his estimates, the age of saprolite reserves in Indonesia is no more than 7 years. This is provided that the absorption of nickel ore with a high gold content reaches 460 million tons per year.

“We believe that if all the smelters, especially the pyro-metallurgical ones, are built, the current reserves will be enough for about 5-7 years, because the total demand for nickel is 460 million tons (per year) if all the smelters are built” he explained.

Meanwhile, for low-grade nickel or limonite, Rizal said that with current stocks, it could last up to 33 years in the future.

“For limonite, the data is less than 1.5% because when all the hydrometallurgical refineries or smelters are completed, they will last about 33 years or so,” he said.

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources

ESDM Minister Arifin Tasrif said his party called for no more investment in the construction of a new nickel plant with Electric Furnace Rotary Furnace (RKEF) technology. Especially those that produce second-grade nickel products in the form of nickel iron (NPI) and ferronickel (FeNi).

“It was recommended. In the meantime, we have been advised not to invest there anymore,” Arifin said at a meeting in the building of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources on Friday (November 8, 2023).

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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