Indonesia buying record amounts of Philippine nickel ore due to quota delays, sources say (Reuters – May 29, 2024)

Indonesia has bought record volumes of nickel ore from the Philippines since April as smelter demand increases, while delays by Jakarta in issuing mining quotas and heavy rains have hurt local supply, people familiar with the matter said.

Indonesia’s nickel ore imports from the country likely hit around 500,000 metric tons in April and will again in May, more than double March volumes, two local smelters and a trader told Reuters. Such monthly totals would also top imports from the Philippines for all of last year which came in at 374,454 tons.

Indonesia requires mining companies to periodically apply for mining quotas with so-called RKAB documents outlining their plans.

Issuances this year have been delayed by a change in the validity of permits to three years from one year, as well as by miners’ pending obligations such as unpaid royalties, the government has said.

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