Industry Overview and Targets
As 2024 approaches, several nickel producers in Indonesia are gearing up with specific business plans, including capital expenditure allocations, production goals, and smelter project completions.
PT Vale Indonesia
PT Vale Indonesia has set a production target of 70,000 tons of nickel matte for the upcoming year, mirroring this year’s production estimate. Bernardus Irmanto, Vale Indonesia’s Chief Financial Officer, cited increased equipment maintenance days and varying nickel grades in mining areas as reasons for the expected production stagnation.
PT Harum Energy
PT Harum Energy plans a capital expenditure of US$ 50 million for 2024. This investment, as outlined by President Director Ray Antonio Gunara, will be channeled towards infrastructure and production facilities development in the nickel mining area, as well as coal mining expansion, and the maintenance and purchase of various vehicles and equipment. HRUM also anticipates the completion and operational start of its second smelter, PT Westrong Metal Industry (WMI), in early 2024.
PT Trimegah Bangun Persada (NCKL)
Allocating US$ 60 million in capital expenditure, PT Trimegah Bangun Persada Tbk plans to invest in mining, smelter construction, and maintenance. Affiliated with the Harita Group, the company is constructing a second High Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) smelter through PT Obi Nickel Cobalt (ONC), with a production capacity of 65,000 tons of nickel Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) per year, expected to commence in stages from the second quarter of 2024.
PT United Tractors (UNTR)
PT United Tractors recently acquired PT Stargate Pacific Resources and PT Stargate Mineral Asia. According to Corporate Secretary Sara K. Loebis, Stargate Pacific Resource’s production volume ranges from 400,000 to 500,000 tons of ore per year, with potential to increase to 2.5 million tons annually.
Market Optimism and Price Projections
Despite current market fluctuations in nickel prices, industry players remain optimistic about future price improvements. This optimism is buoyed by anticipated global economic recovery, increasing demand for stainless steel, and the growing electric vehicle market, particularly in China and the U.S. United Tractors sees long-term potential in nickel due to its pivotal role in Indonesia’s electrification and decarbonization efforts.