France-based Eramet is planning to invest about $6bn on the Weda Bay nickel project located in Maluku province, Indonesia.

Earment CEO Patrick Buffet said that the firm will have spent around $450m on the project before the final investment decision is proposed by the end of 2012.

Earment holds 54% interest in the project, with Aneka Tambang holding 10% interest and Mitsubishi holding the remaining interest.

The project will include the development of several mining centres in Halmahera, a hydrometallurgical plant and facilities that provide electricity, water treatment and other basic infrastructure.

35,000tpa of nickel is expected to be produced in the first phase of the project and a further 30,000t will be produced in the second stage.