Publicly listed nickel mine operator PT Vale Indonesia plans to build a US$2 billion ferronickel smelter in Pomalaa, Southeast Sulawesi. The construction of the new facility is initially slated for 2018, while the operation is expected to start in 2023.
However, the company—part of Brazilian mining giant Vale—is still waiting for the issuance of the forest area utilization permits and is in the process of revising the environmental impact analysis (Amdal) for the project.
It has teamed up with Japanese miner Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. to develop high pressure acid leaching (HPAL) technology for the Pomalaa processing plant and is looking for another partner to help produce the ferronickel in the facility. It is also looking for a partner to build another ferronickel plant in Bahodopi, Central Sulawesi.
“A Chinese investor has conducted a pre-feasibility study for the Bahodopi smelter. The study is expected to be completed in September,” Vale Indonesia president director Nico Kanter said after an annual general shareholders meeting recently.
In addition to building a new smelter, the company is looking to upgrade its nickel smelter in Sorowako, South Sulawesi, as well so that it can increase its production capacity to 90,000 tons of nickel in matte a year by 2019, compared to the current 80,000 tons of nickel in matte a year.
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