PT Merdeka Copper Gold Tbk (MDKA) through its subsidiary PT Merdeka Battery Materials Tbk (MBMA), is increasingly aggressively downstreaming nickel to encourage the electric vehicle supply chain. This is proven by MBMA through collaboration with its strategic partners Tsingshan, CATL and Huayou.
"MBMA, together with Tsingshan, CATL and Huayou, is well positioned in its long-term strategy to maximize the value of its portfolio of high-quality assets from upstream to downstream expansion projects to produce critical materials to support the rapidly growing value of electric vehicles," said MBMA President Director Devin Ridwan , Monday (18/9/2023).
MBMA's commitment is further strengthened after releasing its initial shares in April 2023 and obtaining fresh funds of IDR 9.2 trillion, MBMA has made significant progress in expanding and developing business along the battery value chain located in Central Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. The company uses these funds to finance the construction and development of existing and developing projects.
The 2023 Capex allocation so far includes the completion of the haul road from the SCM mine which will start sending nickel ore to IMIP, completion of the AIM project, initial production of ZHN's third RKEF facility as well as the acquisition of PT Huaneng Metal Industry (HNMI).
Currently MBMA has three processing plants (smelters) with Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace (RKEF) technology which produce nickel pig iron (NPI), namely PT Cahaya Smelter Indonesia, PT Bukit Smelter Indonesia, and PT Zhao Hui Nickel (ZHN) with a total installed capacity of 88,000 tons of nickel in NPI per year .
In the last quarter, NPI (Nickel Pig Iron) nickel production reached 11,870 tons with an All-In Sustaining Cost (AISC) of 13,459 US dollars/ton. MBMA also achieved more than 7.5 million working hours without Loss Time Injury (LTI) which is proof of MBMA's commitment to employee safety throughout its operations. On May 31 2023, MBMA completed the acquisition of 60% shares in PT Huaneng Metal Industry (HNMI), which has a high grade nickel matte (HGNM) conversion facility in the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) area.
MBMA also plans to build a nickel smelting plant with High-Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) technology, with a capacity of 120,000 tons each, which will be built in the Indonesia Konawe Industrial Park (IKIP) complex.
The construction of this factory will be carried out in two stages, with the first operational stage amounting to 60,000 tons. This factory will take limonite from the Sulawesi Cahaya Minerals (SCM) mine, which is one of the largest nickel resources in the world in accordance with the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC).
MBMA believes it can take advantage of the opportunity to downstream the electric vehicle battery value chain. MBMA strives to meet the world's electric motor vehicle battery needs in the future.
"We aspire to become a leading integrated battery materials company and have a high commitment to implementing ESG ( Environment, Social & Governance ) standards," said Devin again.
Image source: CNBC Indonesia/Verda Nano Setiawan