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Consortium To Invest $9 Billion In Indonesia's Mining And Battery Industries

A consortium of companies, including mining giant Glencore, is poised to invest $9 billion in the mining and battery-manufacturing sectors in Indonesia, Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia said on Wednesday.

"The investment is about $9 billion if it is according to plans. If we can speed it up we'll do it," Reuters quoted the minister as saying, as Indonesia looks to attract foreign firms to invest in the production of batteries for electric vehicles.

The $9-billion investment will go into an industrial park on the island Sulawesi, and is expected to be completed in September and to be powered by wind energy, Lahadalia added.

Indonesia's investment ministry confirmed to Reuters that the consortium would include Glencore, Indonesia's state mining firm Aneka Tambang, materials company Umicore, and energy company Envision Group.

Glencore told Reuters it did not comment on rumors.

Indonesia, the world's biggest nickel miner, has been looking to develop nickel processing industries and ultimately produce batteries for EV manufacturers and is eager to attract foreign companies for those ventures.

Indonesia has the laterite type of deposits of nickel, which is lower-grade and requires additional energy-intensive processing to become battery-grade nickel, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a July 2022 report, Global Supply Chains of EV Batteries. 

At the end of last year, Indonesia said it was considering the idea of forming a cartel to manage the supply of nickel and some other key battery metals, similar to what OPEC does for oil.

"I do see the merit of creating Opec to manage the governance of oil trade to ensure predictability for potential investors and consumers," Indonesia's Lahadalia told the Financial Times in an interview at the end of October.

"Indonesia is studying the possibility to form a similar governance structure with regard to the minerals we have, including nickel, cobalt and manganese," the minister added.  

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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