Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Mining company Merdeka Battery Materials, a subsidiary of Merdeka Copper Gold (MDKA), is preparing to operate 21,000 hectares of mining area in Konawe, South East Sulawesi, which has one of the biggest nickel reserves in the world.
"The area we are set to manage measures 21,100 hectares in Konawe. It has one of the biggest nickel deposits in the world," Merdeka Copper Corporate Communication Manager Dinia Widodo said during a recent visit to B-Universe Media Holdings in Jakarta.
Dinia said Merdeka Battery is "riding the wave of opportunity" in the government's electrification push and ambition to make Indonesia a major electric vehicle ecosystem.
The company plans to launch an initial public offering in the second quarter of the year, she said without citing a date.
Merdeka Battery currently owns a 51 percent share of Sulawesi Cahaya Mineral, which manages an estimated 1.1 billion tons of nickel ore deposits.
It also has a controlling stake in Cahaya Smelter Indonesia, Bukit Smelter Indonesia, and Zhao Hui Nickel which run smelters to process nickel ores.
Furthermore, Merdeka Battery has a 32 percent share in the Konawe Industrial Park. Parent company Merdeka Copper runs a gold mine in Banyuwangi, East Java, and a copper mine in Wetar Island, Maluku.
"Another production site is currently under construction in Gorontalo. Hopefully, it will come operational this year," Dinia said.
Last month, Merdeka Copper announced the finding of 263 million tons of mineral resources containing 6.35 million ounces of gold in Gorontalo. The gold mining project is expected to begin in the third quarter of the year.