JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has said that Indonesia’s estimated nickel reserves will last only 15 years, depending on the rate of consumption.
In response to this question, Investment Minister/BKPM Head Bahlil Lahadalia stated that no technical studies have been carried out to confirm that RI’s nickel reserves will only last up to 15 years.
“There has not been a single technical study that argues that 15 years is just a perception,” Bahlil said at a meeting after the Building an Electric Vehicle Battery Ecosystem event in South Jakarta on Tuesday (August 29, 2023).
Bahlil said that Papua currently has very large reserves of Indonesian nickel. Therefore, he asked a number of parties not to worry about nickel stocks in Indonesia.
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“So I’m not sure that 15 years is still a long time. There is still a lot of nickel in Papua. Therefore, I think that what worries 15 years is not true,” he said.
According to kontan.co.id, the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) continues to encourage new exploration to increase the country’s nickel reserves.
In this regard, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources also reported that there are already business entities interested in conducting new exploration work in new territories.
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According to the Geological Agency, as of December 2020, free nickel resources amount to 13.7 billion tons of ore, with total proven reserves of 4.6 billion tons of ore.
The Special Headquarters for the Accelerated Management of Minerba under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, explained Irvandi Arif, the various parties have their own calculations regarding Indonesia’s nickel reserves. There are a number of parties that claim that the reserves will last only 7, 10 or even 15 years, depending on the level of consumption.
“The longevity of these nickel reserves also depends on the discovery of new reserves as a result of exploration. This is how the dynamics is called, for 7 years it is not accurate, there is development,” he said at a meeting in the building of the Ministry of Energy on Friday (08/18/2023).
According to the Ministry of Energy’s own calculations, roughly speaking, nickel reserves in Indonesia will last for another 10-15 years, depending on the exploration and discovery of new reserves.
In addition, the abundance of mineral resources depends on the use of nickel limonite in addition to saprolite.
At present, when the construction of pyrometrurgical plants or RCEF is going on at an increasingly rapid pace, the rate of consumption of saprolite ore automatically increases, so there are fears that it will quickly run out.
Therefore, Irvandi explained, exploration work is currently underway to find new reserves.
“From the industry, which is now conducting detailed exploration, the search for new deposits is still underway, there are those who are interested. Now those interested are waiting for a letter of assignment from the regional PP, which never came, right? After that, the rules have derivative rules,” he explained.
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