Friday, March 26, 2021

Indonesian Nickel Occupies Number One in the World

In the 2000s, coal was a mining commodity which became the 'prima donna' for Indonesia. Although the charm of coal has not dimmed in the country, its 'prima donna' status has been taken over by other mining commodities, namely nickel. Nickel is one type of base metal which is predicted to be the belle of the future. Nickel is a metal that is used for various purposes.

Nickel is a metallic chemical element on the periodic table that has the symbol Ni and atomic number 28. Nickel is a silvery-white metal with a slightly golden tinge. Nickel is a transition metal, and is hard and ductile. Nickel also belongs to the ferrous-cobalt metal group, which can make very valuable alloys. Pure nickel is powdered to maximize reactive surface area, has significant chemical activity, but large chunks react slowly with air under normal conditions because an oxidized coating forms on the surface and prevents further corrosion (passivation). Even so, pure nickel is only found in the Earth's crust in small amounts, usually in ultramafic rocks and in iron or siderite meteorites which are not exposed to oxygen while outside the Earth's atmosphere.

There are two types of nickel on the market, namely class I and class II nickel. Class II nickel is widely used for the manufacture of stainless steel, while class I is used for other products such as electric car battery components.

Indonesia has three types of mineral commodities that are needed for electric vehicle (EV) components. Among them are nickel, copper and bauxite. Especially for nickel reserves owned by Indonesia reached 21 million tons. Indonesia is ranked first in terms of nickel reserves, beating Australia in second place with total reserves of 20 million tons. Followed by Brazil with reserves of 16 million tons and the fourth position is Russia with nickel reserves of 7 million tons.

Indonesia is now increasingly doing downstream mining, not only coal, but also minerals. In fact, three Indonesian mining commodities are said to be excellent in the future and will bring this country into the era of industrialization. If this industrial product is based on green energy, the selling price will be high. For that, according to him, the government will now also encourage the construction of a lithium battery factory with the latest technology. The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said that the three mining commodities that would bring Indonesia into the industrialization era include nickel, copper and bauxite.

The Special Staff of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources for the Acceleration of Mineral and Coal Governance, Irwandy Arif, said that downstreaming is the government's step to increase the added value of nickel products. Currently, nickel downstream consists of 2 products, namely stainless steel and electric battery lines. Where the majority of downstream investment goes to the stainless steel sector, while the utilization of low-grade nickel in the electric battery line is still low, so it needs to be encouraged.

Minister of Finance (Menkeu) Sri Mulyani Indrawati emphasized that Indonesia currently has great potential to become a major player in the world in the battery electric vehicle (EV) industry. Following the abundance of nickel ore ownership as a raw material for the manufacture of electric car batteries.

Hopefully, the government will prioritize the advantages of the state. Apart from nickel, Indonesia's reserves for other mineral commodities, copper and bauxite, are quite high. Based on exposure data presented by Luhut, Indonesia's bauxite reserves are ranked sixth in the world.


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