PT Vale Indonesia signed a definitive cooperation agreement with Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co., Ltd. to process nickel ore from PT Vale’s Pomalaa Block in Kolaka, Southeast Sulawesi on Sunday (13/11/2022). The signing ceremony was done during the Business 20 (B20) forum of the Group of 20 Bali Summit in Nusa Dua, and signals PT Vale’s commitment to expand its world-class project portfolio and secure the next generation of sustainable mining projects in Indonesia. PT Vale CEO Febriany Eddy also had an opportunity to speak at several sessions as part of the B20 Energy, Sustainability and Climate Task Force. “The Pomalaa Block High-Pressure Acid Leach [HPAL] Project is a cornerstone of PT Vale's sustainable growth agenda that will drive local and national economic and social development well into the future,” said Febriany. “This project is a testament to PT Vale's commitment to sustainable mining practices, which is aligned with B20 priorities of ensuring a just and orderly energy transition.”
The facility is forecast to produce as much as 120 kilotonnes of nickel, which will be used to develop Indonesia’s electric vehicle (EV) industry, as the country works toward decarbonization and moving away from oil-fueled vehicles. It was announced previously that the project will adopt and implement the proven Huayou HPAL process, technology and configuration to process low grade limonite and saprolite ores from PT Vale's Pomalaa Block mine, to produce nickel in the form of mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) products. “Our cooperation is a perfect combination of PT Vale’s mineral resource advantage and Huayou’s advanced HPAL technology advantage to achieve and sustainable mineral resource development,” said Huayou chairperson Chen Xuehua. This agreement ties to the non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Huayou and Ford Motor Company in July. It is also in line with a road map set forth by the Indonesian government that aims to reach an adoption of 2.1 million electric motorcycle and 400,000 electric cars in the next few years, with at least 20 percent to be locally manufactured by 2025.
Huayou is the global leading lithium-ion battery material developer and producer and Vale has a known track record of delivering safe and sustainable nickel production, producing nickels without compromising the environmental safety of the area around the smelters. PT Vale has one operational smelter in Sorowako South Sulawesi and also in progress to build in Bahodopi in Central Sulawesi. “We will also work closely with PT Vale Indonesia to ensure the adoption and implementation of leading environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) practices,” Chen said. One of the core principles of the multi-party collaboration is commitment to sustainable production with the lowest possible carbon footprint. For instance, the nickel processing in Sorowako has been operating for over 50 years and still maintains the lowest levels of carbon emissions per tonne of nickel in Indonesia. PT Vale is also committed to achieving net-zero emissions in their production. On Friday (11/11/2022), the company joined forces with Indonesia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Kadin) Net Zero Hub (Kadin NZH), a forum for the decarbonization movement in the industrial and commercial sectors, as well as efforts to support the energy transition to achieve Indonesia's net-zero emissions commitments. The momentous occasion was held in Nusa Dua as a side event of the B20.
“In line with PT Vale Indonesia's commitment to support Indonesia in making the energy transition, we are very pleased to be joining Kadin NZH to build a sustainable business ecosystem by helping Indonesia realize its net-zero commitment to business entities and improve competitiveness in the global market,” Febriany said on Friday. Moreover, she explained that the project would benefit the communities around them in terms of job opportunities, mineral conservation for the environment, overall income and accelerated growth in and around Pomeloo.