Indonesian export ban to make many nickel mines viable again

The Jakarta Globe quotes Anton Berlin, head of marketing for Norilsk, saying if prices rise above $20,000 a tonne on the back of Indonesia’s proposed ban on the export of ore, many idled mines can re-open.

“If this ban is executed in full and is applied perfectly, a significant volume of ores will be under-supplied to China,” Berlin said on Wednesday in Moscow. The global reserve of production capacity can compensate for that under-supply, he added.

Indonesia is the top supplier of nickel to China. The ban, which includes manganese, gold, silver and copper ore,  is two years ahead of schedule and is designed  to increase the value of exports. Indonesia shipped 33 million tonnes of nickel ore and 40 million tons of bauxite last year.

Norilsk is the world's number one producer of nickel and palladium in the world and is also a top miner of platinum and copper. From its Siberian base the Russian firm runs mines in Australia, Botswana, Finland and South Africa.

MINING.com reported in December the company is spending $10.9 billion to expand its mineral resource base including development of existing mining assets and construction and commissioning of new mines.