Indonesia Focuses on Downstream Nickel Industry; Philippines Banned Nickel Mining on Tumbagan

Philippines banned nickel mining while Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo said  will focus on the downstream nickel mining industry within next five years as the country has the world’s largest nickel reserves.

He says, the nickel reserve in Indonesia accounts for 60% of the world. According to the found data, the nickel reserve in Indonesia has reached 21 million tons, and 30% nickel production is controlled by it.

Indonesia has already been capable of producing ferro-nickel or stainless steel. And in the future, Indonesia will try to turn the ore into lithium-ion batteries for mobile phones and electric cars.

Indonesia also hope, the SOEs will cooperate with the local private sector and multinational companies to develop electric vehicles in the future.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Prohibits Nickel Mine Activities on Tumbagan

According to the resource, on Tuesday, Philippines cabinet member Karlo Nograles said the President Rodrigo Duterte has given an order to ban all the mining activities on some island which locates in south Province. It is known that this province has some nickel projects.

Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte

He said, Tumbagan (Tawi-Tawi Province) has been fully destroyed by mining. And the resources in this island is totally exploited. Now, President has ordered to stop all the mining activities in this island while the recovery is ongoing.

President also asked the government to plant more trees to increase the speed of recovery.

Because Tawi-Tawi is an autonomous Province, mining in is not closely monitored by the Philippines Bureau of Mines and Geosciences.

In Duterte’s order, it does not include the country’s nickel mining hub in the Caraga region.

In 2019, SR Languyan Mining Corp, one of the companies operating in Tawi-Tawi, said that the island’s mineral resources were considered as excellent materials and were almost drained after years of continuous mining.

Since Indonesia banned exports of unprocessed nickel ore in January last year, now Philippines has become the biggest nickel supplier to China.

In Philippines, much of country’s low-grade material is used to produce ferro-nickel, which is the main ingredient for stainless steel.

After taking office in 2016, Duterte has repeatedly threatened to shut down the country’s mining industry and lambasted miners for damaging the environment.

The President worried about the environment would be thus influence, so that he banned the mining activities on Tumbagan. Though this ban does not affect Caraga’s nickel mining hub, potential supply disruptions is leading to the soaring of nickel prices.