Chinese nickel maker Tsingshan Group has commenced refined nickel production at its plant in Morowali, Indonesia, reported Reuters citing three sources familiar with the production.

According to the sources, the plan has started nickel plate production and is expected to reach an annual production capacity of 50,000 metric tonnes.

However, details were not disclosed on the facility’s current production rate and when it would reach peak production capacity.

Sources told the news agency that Tsingshan is planning to list the nickel produced at this facility as a deliverable brand on the London Metal Exchange (LME). This requires at least three months of stable production from the facility.

Last year, Bloomberg News reported that Tsingshan was in advanced talks with state-controlled China Baowu Steel Group to divest some of its stainless steel assets in Indonesia.

The move forms part of the nickel giant’s strategic review and covered Tsingshan’s stainless steel and nickel pig iron manufacturing facilities.

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By GlobalData

One of the sources said that the potential sale could be valued between $3bn and $4bn.

In November 2022, Reuters reported that Tsingshan agreed to start lithium mining and processing operations in Zimbabwe.

Recently, China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt subsidiary Quzhou Huayou Cobalt New Material received approval for its nickel made at its facility in Zhejiang province, China, to be listed as a deliverable brand on the LME, reported Reuters.

This facility is equipped to have a 36,600t nickel production capacity.