Indonesian nickel miners to stop ore exports immediately

  • Indonesia’s nickel miners agreed on 28 Oct 19 to stop nickel ore exports immediately, the country’s investment agency chief Bahlil Lahadalia said, after Jakarta brought forward a ban on shipments to Jan 20 from 2022.
  • Exports due to be shipped from Indonesia, the world’s biggest nickel ore producer, will be bought by local smelter operators at an international price level, Lahadalia said.
  • “This agreement was carried out not on the basis of a letter from the government or technical ministry, but a joint agreement,” Lahadalia said. “Where the agreement is carried out by the nickel association with us the government.”
  • Lahadalia, who was appointed last week by President Joko Widodo in his new cabinet, said nickel companies agreed not to export ore based on “collective awareness” to create added value to Indonesian resource exports by processing them onshore.
  • Nickel smelters have been having problems buying raw material for their plants since Indonesia announced it was moving forward the ore export ban to Jan 20.
  • China’s Tsingshan, the biggest smelter operator in Indonesia, will cut production by 20% starting in Nov 19 due to scarcity of ore and as the rainy season begins, to maintain its levels of ore inventory, said a company official in Jakarta.
  • Alexander Barus, executive director at PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park, Indonesia’s largest nickel industrial park -where Tshingshan operates – said smelters in Morowali were ready to buy ore from miners.
  • Meidy Lengkey, secretary general of Indonesian Nickel Miners Association, told Reuters that miners were fine with the export stoppage as long as the government helps to support domestic ore prices.

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