SMM7, March 23-Vale (Vale SA's Indonesian) of Indonesia has plans to invest US $5 billion in nickel projects with its partners in the coming years, including US $2.5 billion in battery-grade nickel plant projects with Sumitomo Metal (Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd.) of Japan.
This is mainly due to the huge demand for batteries in the development of China's electric vehicle market and the development of China's iron and steel market. At the same time, the low global inventory of nickel is also a certain support.
Although the battery industry does not currently account for a large share of nickel consumption, BloombergNEF data show that demand for nickel for lithium batteries will increase by as much as nine times between 2020 and 2030.
Now this vast market is in front of Indonesia. Indonesia is rich in nickel deposits, about 3.5 billion wet tons, of which about 60 per cent are low-grade laterite nickel deposits.
According to BloombergNEF, there are currently six new high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) plants around the world that can produce 220000 tons of battery-grade nickel a year, 70 per cent of which are deployed in Indonesia.
Chinese companies have also seized the opportunity to develop the Indonesian nickel market.
Indonesia's Vale and China's Qingshan holding Group have teamed up to build a battery-grade nickel plant in Indonesia at a cost of US $700 million and an annual nickel production capacity of 50,000 tons. Construction of the plant began in January and is expected to be completed within 16 to 18 months.
PT Aneka Tambang Tbk (Antam), an Indonesian state-owned mining company, will also cooperate with two Chinese enterprises in Shandong Xinhai and Huayou Cobalt to develop nickel projects.
In partnership with Huayu Cobalt, Antam will develop nickel as a catalyst for battery raw materials to produce grade I nickel for EV batteries, a project that will require an investment of approximately US $60 billion to US $12 billion.
At the same time, Antam will cooperate with Shandong Xinhai to build a nickel-iron plant with an investment of US $1.2 billion, with an annual output of 40, 000 tons of nickel iron and 600000 tons of stainless steel.
These cooperation are based on Indonesia's policy of encouraging the development of the nickel industry.
Indonesia is planning to spend billions of dollars building aluminium and nickel smelters at home as it seeks to reshape the domestic mining industry and curb exports of raw materials while reducing its dependence on imports of finished metals.
It is expected that 41 smelters will operate in 2022, including 22 nickel smelters, 6 bauxite smelters, 4 iron ore smelters, 4 zinc smelters, 2 copper smelters, 2 anode slime smelters and 1 manganese ore smelter. "related news-Indonesia plans to build a smelter to change the pattern of exporting metal raw materials and purchasing high finished metals
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