SHANGHAI, May 6 (SMM) – Operations at Weda Bay Nickel, a newly-commissioned Indonesia-based nickel project run by France's Eramet, China's Tsingshan Holding Group and regional miner PT Antam, has barely been affected by Friday’s workers' demonstration.
A rally on May 1 demanding, among other things, a lockdown at the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP) during the coronavirus pandemic, turned violent with demonstrators destroying company property and looting food, according to various reports.
Indonesia's nickel miners association (APNI) reported on Monday, citing Agnes Megawati, Associate Director of the Media & Public Relations Department at PT IWIP, that the violence on Friday was provoked by five students, rather than workers at the industrial park, based on the results of a joint investigation by the TNI and police.
Those students wore uniforms resembling PT IWIP uniforms and stopped workers who were on their way to work on Friday morning, and approximately 800 workers were provoked to join the rally and conduct "anarchic action." Those students have fled, according to the report.
Weda Bay Nickel’s saw the first nickel ferroalloy tapping out of furnace #1 on Thursday, and the other three furnaces of Phase 1 will come online soon. The project, located on the country’s Halmahera Island, plans to build 24 ferro-nickel production lines.