JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian Nickel Mining Association sees, local nickel ore production is projected drops 52 percent to 25 million wet metric tons (WMT) in this year, local media reported. The declined caused large of miners did not carry out their production activities in 2019 and the prices to low.
Based on the the association data, said the secretary general Meidy Katrin Lengkey, as for last year, low-grade nickel ore production was able to reach 52.76 million WMT, up 138 percent from the realization of production in 2018, which reached 22.14 million WMT.
“This year we estimate the production to reach 25 million WMT of nickel ore production,” she told Bisnis on Wednesday (12/2) by adding the capacity production has not been able to meet the needs of 12 smelter units currently operating in Indonesia.
Since the ban on nickel ore exports, said Lengkey, many miners have chosen not to carry out mining activities cause the local prices are still too low. She hopes that the government could immediately issue binding regulations regarding the benchmark mineral prices and the imposition of sanctions.
She believed that in the next six months, the supply or availability of nickel ore in several smelters is running out or definitely stop.
“There are several smelters that have been added to the production line, automatic demand for nickel ore raw materials has increased as well. There are 2 new smelters which have started production this year too,” said Meidy
But, chairman of the Indonesian Manufacturing and Refining Industry Association, Prihadi Santoso as quoted by Kontan, nickel ore production, which this year is estimated to have only 25 million WMT, is sufficient to meet the need for operating nickel smelter raw materials.
“In fact, in my opinion, the results of the smelters, such as matte nickel, ferronickel, nickel pig iron which are difficult to export due to weakened nickel demand in China due to the coronavirus,” he said.
Director at energy and mineral resources (EMR) ministry, Yunus Saefulhak also predicted that there would be braking of nickel ore production by miners after the production spike last year. Based on the ministry data, last year the nickel ore exports reached 30.19 WMT, up from 2018 realization at 20.07 WMT.
He also projects that by 2022 there will be 29 nickel smelters operating with a capacity of 69 million tons.
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