The Jakarta Post
Following the free fall in global nickel prices, more smelter companies in Indonesia have begun halting operations.
The number of smelters ceasing nickel processing activities increased to 17 in the first days of July, compared to 13 smelters that halted operations in June, said Processing and Smelting Companies Association (AP3I) deputy chairman Jonathan Handojo on Sunday.
“All of the smelters that halted operations were granted operational permits from the Investment Coordinating Board [BKPM],” Jonathan said as quoted by kontan.co.id, adding that BKPM chairman Thomas Lembong planned to meet with AP3I representatives to discuss the issue.Read also: Nickel prices in free fall following issuance of additional export permit
He blamed the situation on the government for allowing an overflow of raw mineral exports.
The government recently granted Indonesian company PT Ceria Nugraha Indotama (CNI) permission to export 2.3 million tons of nickel ore after the company promised to develop a smelter in Kolaka, Southeast Sulawesi.
As a result, the price of benchmark nickel for three-month delivery on the London Metals Exchange (LME) fell by nearly 3 percent to US$9,130 per ton on July 6, compared to $9,410 on July 3. (dea)