5 Best Locations for Indonesian Nickel Mining – Indonesia’s natural wealth is so much. Being blessed with abundant natural energy sources (SDA), it should be used for the progress of the nation so that it does not rely solely on foreign materials.
One of Indonesia’s natural wealth is nickel. In fact, in Indonesia there are several areas that produce the most nickel.
This is in line with the statement of the Minister of Investment/Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia who wants Indonesia to be known to the world as an industrial country producing electric vehicle batteries following the government’s plan to improve the electric vehicle ecosystem in the country.
“It’s time for Indonesia to emerge as the world’s largest player so that the world understands Indonesia not only as Bali, but the world must understand Indonesia as an industrialist country that creates (electric) car batteries,” he said in the webinar “Prospects and Challenges of the National Battery Industry” held by the University of Indonesia. Thursday( 24/6/2021).
He said that so far Indonesia is known to the world as a country rich in natural energy sources, ranging from wood, gold, fish, to coal.
However, so far the management of Indonesia’s natural energy resources does not provide added value for the country because all of them are exported raw.
The government also intends to carry out economic transformation so that added value can be enjoyed within the country, one of which is by continuing to press for downstreaming.
Bahlil said that Indonesia has 25 percent of the world’s nickel reserves and that this opportunity will be fully utilized to develop electric vehicle batteries.
The development of electric vehicle batteries is considered a big opportunity because the main components are nickel, manganese and cobalt in Indonesia. Batteries are also the main component that accounts for half of electric vehicles.
“In Europe, by 2030, 70 percent of cars have shifted from fossil fuels to new and renewable energy. Moreover, in some countries in Asia and Latin America, including Indonesia and Southeast Asia. We are lucky for new renewable energy for cars, 50 percent of the components are batteries and in fact the main raw material is nickel. Nickel in Indonesia is 25 percent of the world’s total reserves,” he said as quoted by Antara.
Bahlil also said that the government has developed various comprehensive measures to urge investors to enter and invest in Indonesia.
The first step that the government has taken is to stop the export of nickel ore since the end of October 2019.
Bahlil admitted that his move to stop the export of nickel ore had brought him demonstrations by entrepreneurs.
“I was demoed for 1.5 months by my friend, a businessman. But what happened, from now on we must think for our country. We can no longer export too many raw materials. Our exports in the current era with the VOC era are almost the same , there is no comparison. Our commitment is to urge the formation of the industry,” he said.
For information from the Geological Body of the Department of Energy and Mineral Energy Resources (ESDM), it was recorded that until July 2020 the total balance of energy sources for nickel ore in Indonesia reached 11.88 billion tons, on the other hand, the total energy sources for nickel metal were 174 million tons.
Then, which areas are the largest nickel producers in the country? Quoting good news from indonesia, here is the list:
1. East Luwu, South Sulawesi
On the island of Sulawesi, precisely in the southern region, East Luwu Regency, which has an area of 6,944.98 square kilometers, Indonesia is the next largest source of nickel producer.
Indonesian nickel mining in this area are located in 2 sub-districts, namely Malili and Nuha.
The mining industry operating in the East Luwu area, precisely in Nuha District, Sorowako Village, is the world’s largest mining industry operating in the country, namely Vale Indonesia.
2. Kolaka, Southeast Sulawesi
Natural wealth in the form of nickel can also be found in the Southeast Sulawesi area, namely Kolaka, which is dominated by mountains and slopes.
This one district originally had an area of 2,959 square kilometers, but after that it underwent 2 regional divisions in the north and east zones, thus making Kolaka currently has an area of 3,283, 59 square kilometers which includes land and islands.
Indonesian nickel mining areas located in Kolaka can be found in Pomalaa and Latambaga sub-districts, where the largest mining industry located in the region is state-owned industry, namely PT Aneka Tambang.
3. Morowali, Central Sulawesi
Still on the island of Sulawesi, the last one is Morowali, which is one of the districts in Central Sulawesi which also has a lot of nickel.
With an area of 3,037 square kilometers and a total population of 158,510 people per year 2020. This area is listed in the mainland record with the largest source of nickel content in Indonesia.
Indonesian nickel mining, which are located in this district, is spread over several areas, including the Bahadopi, Bungku Timur, Bungku Pesisir, and East Petasia areas.
Although it has several mining areas, the government of the Morowali region has always been firm in implementing mining policies with appropriate exploration regulations to coincide with the benefits that can be experienced by close residents.
4. East Halmahera, North Maluku
Moving from Sulawesi, on the mainland of Maluku to be exact, East Halmahera is also the location of Indonesia’s largest nickel source. The distribution of nickel sources in East Halmahera can be found in Maba and Wasilei Districts.
Not only mining that takes nickel ore for subsequent distribution to other areas for processing, in this area there is also a smelter (smelting) plant that processes ore reduction so that it becomes a factor metal that can be utilized.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the nickel industry located in this area has even become a source of economy and a source of income for local residents, especially in the East Halmahera region.
5. Gag Island, West Papua
Turning to the east, not only has natural wealth in the form of gold, the Papua region also has a wealth of nickel that is worth considering. Nickel sources can be found on Gag Island, which is part of the Raja Ampat Islands group.
Mining operations in this area are also managed by PT Aneka Tambang through its subsidiary PT Gag Nickel.
However, along with the maintenance of the area and the determination of the Gag Island area as a protected forest run by the local government, the mining activities carried out on Gag Island are only limited to exploration for the purpose of taking illustrations and observing nickel in the country.