SMM12, May 5-Indonesian state-owned miner Antam's chief executive, Arie Prabowo Ariotedjo, said in an interview that the company's nickel ore exports are expected to increase to 5 million tons next year, up from 3.9 million tons this year. At the same time, the company's bauxite exports next year are expected to triple to about 2.8 million tons from 850000 tons this year. It has also been reported that the company will work with China to build a new nickel smelter in Indonesia, a move that will help the company obtain more export quotas for unprocessed nickel ores. He also said the company planned to produce 28000 tons of ferronickel next year, up from 25000 tons this year, as its Halmahera nickel plant was expected to be commercialized by mid-2019.
According to SMM, the export quota for Indonesian nickel mines needs to match the progress of the smelters applying for the plant, and a number of nickel pig iron plants will increase their nickel pig iron production capacity in Indonesia next year, as well as apply for new nickel ore quotas. As a result, more nickel export quotas may be approved in 2019, leading to more nickel exports to China. According to SMM, China imported about 18 million wet tons of nickel ore from Indonesia in 2018, and imports may surge in 2019.
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