Glencore to stop funding New Caledonia nickel mine as Indonesian supply surges – by Harry Dempsey and Leila Abboud (Financial Times – September 27, 2023)

Local industry extracting a key metal for electric car batteries is under pressure from rising production elsewhere

Mining and trading giant Glencore is to stop financing a lossmaking nickel mine in New Caledonia, as growing Indonesian production of a key metal in electric car batteries squeezes rivals.

Closure of the mine would be a blow to the French territory’s economy — mining accounts for 6 per cent of its GDP — and further concentrate global nickel production in Indonesia, where the supply chain is largely controlled by Chinese companies.

Glencore said on Wednesday that it plans to stop financing the Koniambo nickel mine at the end of February. It added that it had invested $9bn in the project, which is called KNS, since its beginning.

“KNS continues to struggle financially and incur significant losses largely due to factors outside of its control relating to cost structures and market conditions,” it said. “Glencore will work with KNS and relevant stakeholders to explore solutions for KNS’ ongoing losses, including looking for alternative sources of funding,” it added.

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