A consortium of companies, including mining giant Glencore, is planning to invest $9bn into mining and electric vehicle (EV) battery production in Indonesia, the country’s minister for investment Bahlil Lahadalia told reporters this week. The mineral-rich nation is increasingly attracting interest as demand for energy transition minerals mounts.

The funds will be in part dedicated to an industrial park in the Bantaeng region on Sulawesi Island that will be powered by wind energy, the minister said. The park is due for completion in September. Lahadalia did not give a complete breakdown of how the $9bn would be spent.

Indonesia is the world’s largest nickel producer, accounting for 39% of global production, according to Mining Technology’s parent company GlobalData. The country’s nickel production increased from almost zero in 2013 to 862 kilotonnes (kt) per year in 2021, its analysis shows.

Since 2020, Indonesia has banned the export of nickel ore, in a bid to win downstream investment and retain the resource for its own use.

The country is looking to develop its downstream industries, including the production of EV batteries and cars for major vehicle producers.

Consortium members

Lahadalia said that the British consortium includes mining giant Glencore. According to GlobalData, in 2021 Glencore was the fourth largest nickel producer in the world accounting for 102.3kt of nickel production.

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By GlobalData

Earlier this year Glencore reported a 60% profit increase. The firm’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to $34.06bn in 2022 from $21.32bn in 2021.

However, Glencore has yet to confirm it plans to invest in Indonesia. Glencore told Reuters that it “does not comment on rumours”.

Indonesian state miner Aneka Tambang, materials company Umicore and energy company Envision Group are also a part of the consortium, Lahadalia said. They too did did not respond to Mining Technology’s request for comment.

“The investment is about $9bn if it is according to plans. If we can speed it up, we’ll do it,” Balil told reporters.