The Jakarta Post
State-owned diversified miner PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) has started exporting its low-grade nickel, with content below 1.7 percent, following the government’s decision to relax its mineral export ban earlier this year.
The company revealed on Tuesday that it had exported 165,000 wet metric tons (wmt) of nickel ore to China and was preparing the shipping schedule for a second batch.
“The exports of nickel and bauxite by Antam will support the mineral processing sector […] in line with the operations of our FeNi I ferronickel plant [in Pomalaa, Southeast Sulawesi],” Antam president director Arie Prabowo Ariotedjo said in a statement.
In late March, Antam obtained the first permit to export 2.7 million wmt of nickel ore, in accordance with the total capacity of its three ferronickel plants in Pomalaa. This export quota has been allocated to its market in China.
The company has submitted a second proposal to the government to export another 3.7 million wmt of nickel ore, in line with the feeding capacity of its new ferronickel smelter in East Halmahera, North Maluku.
The smelter is slated for completion by the end of 2018, with an annual capacity of 13,500 tons of nickel contained in ferronickel (TNi).
The second export quota will be allocated to other markets, including its long-time traditional partner Japan.
Within the first quarter of 2017, Antam mined 525,468 wmt of nickel ore, up 109.36 percent compared to the same period last year. (tas)