Jakarta (VNA) – Reserves of high-grade nickel ore in Indonesia may be exhausted in around six years, risking shortages of the material used to make stainless steel, according to the Indonesian Nickel Miners Association.
The high-grade nickel ore is mainly used for the country's nickel pig iron (NPI) production, a feedstock for stainless steel, while the lower grade is used to make products for the electric vehicle batteries.
At a meeting of the International Nickel Study Group earlier this month, Secretary General of the association Meidy Katrin Lengkey said the Indonesian government needs to make comprehensive control efforts for the resilience of nickel reserves so that it can sustain the downstream strategy and increase added value.
Nickel mining and smelting has become a major part of Indonesia's economy, with billions of USD in global investment funneling into the country after the government banned the export of unprocessed ore in 2020.
Indonesia holds the largest nickel reserves in the world, equivalent of 23% of the global volume. The country has utilised its rich nickel ores to meet the rising demand from producers of batteries used for electric vehicles.
However, mining industry has created damaging impacts on the environment and society.