FOCUS: All eyes on first nickel ore exports from Indonesia after ban ease

Market participants are eyeing nickel ore exports from Indonesia after the country relaxed its export ban on unprocessed ore, with some saying the first nickel ore cargoes from the country since its ban in 2014 could hit the market in a matter of weeks.

On Thursday January 12, Indonesia energy and mineral resources minister Ignasius Jonan, as well as director general of mineral and coal Bambang Gatot Ariyono, announced new legislations that will allow exports to resume under certain conditions
The main conditions for exports were that miners must complete smelter projects within five years – with the government to monitor construction every six months – and that smelters must be able to absorb about 30% of low-grade ore output domestically.
“Low-grade ore” refers to laterite ore which contains less than 1.7% nickel, with only such low-grade ore permitted to be exported, Chinese information provider Antaike noted in a report on Friday.
The market is still awaiting full details on the new rules, but tentatively based on the main conditions, it should not be difficult for miners to qualify for exports, industry watchers told Metal Bulletin.

Two companies expected to qualify for exports are...

Published

Ellie Wang

Vivian Teo

January 13, 2017

12:05 GMT

Singapore