Indonesia considers Opec-style cartel for battery metals – by Harry Dempsey in London and Mercedes Ruehl in Singapore (Financial Times – October 20, 2022)

World’s largest nickel producer exploring governance structure similar to that used by oil group

Indonesia is studying the establishment of an Opec-like cartel for nickel and other key battery metals, highlighting the geopolitical confidence of nations that are rich in resources needed to make electric cars.

Bahlil Lahadalia, the country’s investment minister, said Jakarta was looking at mechanisms similar to those used by Opec, the group of 13 oil-producing nations, that could be employed in the supply of metals that are central to the energy transition.

“I do see the merit of creating Opec to manage the governance of oil trade to ensure predictability for potential investors and consumers,” he said in an interview. “Indonesia is studying the possibility to form a similar governance structure with regard to the minerals we have, including nickel, cobalt and manganese.”

Indonesia is the world’s largest nickel producer, generating 38 per cent of global refined supply, according to consultancy CRU. It holds a quarter of the world’s reserves of the metal.

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