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Chinese investor interested in Vale Indonesia’s Bahodopi smelter project

  • Viriya P. Singgih
    Viriya P. Singgih

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, March 28, 2017 | 07:18 pm
Chinese investor interested in Vale Indonesia’s Bahodopi smelter project An employee walks past bags of material belonging to mining company PT Vale Indonesia in Sorowako, South Sulawesi. (JP/Ruslan Sangaji)

A Chinese investor has expressed interest in partnering with publicly listed nickel mine operator PT Vale Indonesia to build a ferronickel plant in Bahodopi, Central Sulawesi.

“A Chinese investor has conducted a pre-feasibility study for the Bahodopi smelter. The study is expected to be completed in September,” Vale Indonesia president director Nico Kanter said after an annual general meeting of shareholders on Monday.

The Bahodopi smelter adds to the list of smelter projects that Vale Indonesia is working on at the moment.

The company, part of Brazilian mining giant Vale, is planning to build a US$2 billion ferronickel smelter in Pomalaa, Southeast Sulawesi. The construction of the new facility is initially slated to begin in 2018, while it is expected to start operating in 2023.

However, it is still waiting for the issuance of forest area utilization permits (IPPKH) and is in the process of revising the environmental impact analysis (Amdal) for the project.

(Read also: Vale Indonesia to spend US$90 million for smelter rejuvenation, expansion)

It has teamed up with Japanese miner Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. to develop high pressure acid leaching (HPAL) technology for the Pomalaa processing plant and is looking for another partner to help produce the ferronickel in the facility.

Vale Indonesia is looking to upgrade its nickel smelter in Sorowako, South Sulawesi, as well, so that it can increase its production capacity to 90,000 tons of nickel in matte a year by 2019, compared to the current 80,000 tons of nickel in matte a year. (tas)

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