Bisnis.com, JAKARTA — The map of the national nickel industry has shifted rapidly in the last 4 years. In 2014, nickel production was still controlled by PT Vale Indonesia Tbk. (INCO) of 25 percent, PT Aneka Tambang Tbk. (ANTM) 19 percent and other companies 3 percent.
Meanwhile, in 2021, PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) controls 50 percent of downstream nickel production, INCO is reduced by 22 percent, ANTM is only 7 percent, and PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry controls 11 percent. Thus, nearly 70 percent of nickel mines are controlled by foreigners.
IMIP is a joint venture between China’s Tsangshan Steel Holding (66.25 percent) and local company PT Bintang8 Mineral (33.75 percent). IMIP has built the first ferronickel smelter through PT Sulawesi Mining Investment in Bahodopi, Central Sulawesi with a capacity of 300,000 tons per year. The second smelter was built by PT Indonesia Guang Ching to produce 600,000 tons of ferronickel per year.
“So, almost 70 percent of nickel mines are controlled by foreigners,” said researcher at Alpha Research Database Ferdy Hasiman in a written statement received Business, Friday (17/9/2021).
Meanwhile, ANTM only has a ferronickel smelter in Pomala, Southeast Sulawesi with a production capacity of 27,000 tons per year. ANTM is currently hoping to complete a ferronickel plant in East Halmahera with a capacity of 13,000 tons per year.
Ferdy continued that the dominance of foreign companies in nickel mining has put the state’s sovereignty in the natural resources sector to the test. Moreover, this sector currently has great opportunities along with the development of electric cars globally.
“Indonesia should not rely on foreign companies to encourage the development of electric cars. ANTM should be the supporter of the electric car policy,” he said.
Currently, Indonesia is the largest nickel-producing country or 27 percent of the world’s nickel contribution. Indonesia contributed 72 million tons of nickel reserves of the world’s 139,419,000 nickel.
Australia only accounts for 15 percent, Brazil only 8 percent, Russia 5 percent and others 20 percent. That means, Indonesia must have a high bargaining position in the development of electric cars.
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