Are Indonesian nickel pig iron smelters losing approval?
Are Indonesian nickel pig iron smelters losing approval?

12 June 2024 – Indonesian deposits of high-grade nickel ore are currently expected to be exhausted by 2029. Ore for stainless steel production already has to be imported from the Philippines. Now the Indonesian government is apparently considering withdrawing the licence for at least some nickel pig iron smelters in order to protect the rapidly dwindling reserves. And a quick comment on a reader feedback from this week.

Will Indonesian nickel pig iron smelters lose approval?

We have already reported several times since the beginning of 2022 on Indonesia’s limited nickel ore reserves and also on the fact that these are likely to be exhausted more quickly than previously assumed at the current rate of mining. Our opinion on this topic is often questioned by self-proclaimed experts.

High grade nickel ore reserves exhausted by 2029

In the meantime, the Indonesian government has also had to agree with our opinion and recently admitted once again that the currently known deposits of high grade nickel ore (1.7% nickel content) will be exhausted by 2029 at the current rate of extraction. In our opinion, the remaining deposits of low-grade nickel ore, which can be mined economically and are primarily used as pre-material for battery production, are likely to follow soon.

Indonesian government wants to further limit NPI smelters

This rapid depletion of Indonesian ore deposits has now prompted the Indonesian government to look for ways to reserve the remaining deposits for products with a higher added value. The withdrawal of licences for nickel pig iron smelters has also been brought into play. Whether for plants still in the planning stage or for existing smelters has remained unclear.

Indonesia must import nickel ore from the Philippines

The dramatic increase in imports of nickel ore from the Philippines to Indonesia, which has so far been blamed mainly on delays in the granting of mining licences, paints a completely different picture in this context – that Indonesia no longer wants to grant so many mining licences or is even able to do so.

Rising prices: Tsinghsan Group wants to expand nickel listing on LME

The latest news that the Tsingshan Group is expanding its nickel listing on the LME is therefore hardly surprising. An announcement which, in our opinion, indicates that the group is counting on rising demand and higher nickel prices this year.

Reader feedback and suggestions

We are always happy to receive feedback. We would like to share such a feedback here. This feedback on our publications criticises the fact that we incorporate too much emotion into them – but that it is accepted in return because our offer is after all for free. At the same time, however, this reader demands even more free content from us.

Of course, we are happy to accept this impulse for even more good content that is worth reading, but we will continue to maintain our style and our emotionality. After all, it’s our living room and we decide the party in it. No-one is forced to attend our party or to read from us. But of course we are always happy about all the encouragement we receive in personal dialogue with our readers. Thank you for that.

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