Vale Indonesia eyes 2026 completion for nickel HPAL plant

Vale’s mining and processing facility near Sorowako on the island of Sulawesi. Image from Vale.

Indonesian nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia said it aims to start construction at its Pomalaa project next year to produce material used in batteries for electric vehicles, executives said on Wednesday.

Vale is currently amending its environmental impact study for the project and hopes to secure necessary permits for construction to start next year, Adriansyah Chaniago, its deputy chief executive, told a virtual media briefing.

“An HPAL takes a while to build. We plan for mechanical completion in 2026,” said chief financial officer Bernardus Irmanto, referring to high pressure acid leach process of extracting chemicals from nickel ore.

The plant in Pomalaa, in Southeast Sulawesi province, is expected to produce 40,000 tonnes of mixed sulphide precipitate, a component for EV batteries, he added.

Vale is also studying the prospect of mining limonite, which is found among its reserves and could be used in production of EVs, added chief executive Febriany Eddy.

(By Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Martin Petty)

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