Indonesia is on track to become the world’s nickel capital with new projects potentially lifting the country’s share of the important stainless steel and battery metal ingredient to a whopping 60% of global output later this decade.
Much of the planned investment is linked to Chinese companies keen to cement their grip on stainless steel production and to meet fast growing demand for batteries which require a range of new-energy metals such as nickel, lithium, cobalt and copper.
The pace of growth in the Indonesia nickel sector can best be measured by an investment bank forecast that the country could lift its share of worldwide nickel production from 28% to 60% inside the next eight years.
Macquarie, an Australian-based bank, described the plans for Indonesia nickel as a flood with a series of “mega” projects under construction, announced, or in the planning stage.
The latest proposed development, from PT Huayou Nickel Cobalt (Indonesia), is for a project at Weda Bay in the Halmahera district of North Maluku which plans to invest $2.08 billion on a project producing 120,000 tons of nickel a year, plus 15,000 tons of cobalt.