Jakarta, Klinik Farma – The Department of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) has recommended no investment in the construction of new nickel plants. Especially for second class nickel smelters producing ferronickel (FeNi) and nickel pig iron (NPI).
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. Meanwhile, 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).
Earlier, the Chairman of the Association of Mining Experts (Perhapi), Rizal Kasli, said that his party had several times proposed to the government to impose a moratorium on nickel smelting if no new nickel reserves were discovered in Indonesia.
“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’s Mining Zone, cited Tuesday (8)/8/2023.
Rizal explained that nickel itself is divided into two types, namely high quality nickel or saprolite, which is processed in a pyro-metallurgical plant. The second type is low-grade nickel or limonite processed at a hydrometallurgical plant.
Specifically for the type of saprolite, Rizal explained that the life of reserves in Indonesia is no more than seven years. This is provided that all nickel plants, both existing and new, will operate in Indonesia.
“We believe that if all the smelters, especially the pyrometallurgical ones, are completed, the current reserves will be enough for about 5-7 years, because the total demand for nickel is 460 million tons if all the plants 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 hydrosmelters or smelters are completed, they will last about 33 years or so,” he said.
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