Indonesia’s Nickel Production Forecasted to Reach up to 1.75 Million Tons in 2023

Indonesia’s Nickel Production Forecasted to Reach up to 1.75 Million Tons in 2023

Projected Output for 2023

Indonesia, holding the title of the world’s top nickel ore and product producer, is expected to generate between 1.65 and 1.75 million metric tons of nickel products in 2023, as stated by a government official.

Significant Growth in Nickel Production

The country’s primary nickel production surged by 32% to 1.16 million tons in the previous year, making up 38% of global output. This marked a significant increase from Indonesia’s 16% share in 2019. The data was provided by the International Nickel Study Group.

Total Production Capacity Estimates

Indonesia’s total nickel product capacity for this year is estimated at 2.2 million metric tons, according to Septian Hario Seto, a deputy minister in the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment. The capacity includes 1.94 million tons for nickel pig iron (NPI) and nickel matte, and 265,000 tons for mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), a key component for electric vehicle batteries.

Focus on Efficient Production

Seto emphasized that with the existing large capacity, further expansion isn’t necessary. He highlighted that smelters without their own mines might face challenges due to tightening ore supply and declining ore grades. The government is currently not issuing new permits for NPI but is encouraging the growth of high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) projects producing MHP.

Status of NPI Smelters

Smelters currently under construction were approved in 2022, and no new permits are being issued for NPI smelters at present. This approach reflects Indonesia’s strategic move to manage its nickel resources efficiently and support the burgeoning EV battery industry.

Implications for the Global Nickel Market

Indonesia’s significant role in the nickel market, especially in the context of the EV battery supply chain, positions the country as a key influencer in global production dynamics. The government’s strategic approach towards managing production capacities and encouraging specific types of projects underscores its commitment to sustainable and efficient resource management. icon

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