Indonesia is poised for EV riches as Tesla circles, but a nickel rush could hurt the environment – by Jack Board (Channel News Asia – February 28, 2021)

BANGKOK: As American electric vehicle maker Tesla eyes up a hefty investment in Indonesia, concerns are growing over the potential environmental consequences of a nickel mining rush.

Tesla has reportedly tabled a proposal to establish a battery production facility in the country, though no official announcement has been made and government decision-makers remain tight-lipped about details.

Still, the prospects of Indonesia becoming a global hub for battery production in the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, and a key link in the global supply chain, has already seen mining and nickel processing ramp up across the country.

Indonesia has vast resources of nickel – it has about a quarter of the entire world’s supply. It is an increasingly crucial metal in batteries due to its properties that enable mass energy capabilities.

Macquarie Bank analysis estimates Indonesia could be the source of half the global supply of nickel and stainless steel within four years.

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