PT Vale Indonesia Tbk (INCO) is eyeing a nickel production target of 70,000 tons in matte by 2023. This amount is 7.69% higher than the 2022 production target of 65,000 tons.
"Regarding next year's production target, approximately 70,000 tons of nickel in matte in 2023," explained Vale Indonesia Chief Operating Officer Abu Ashar, answering a question from Investor Daily in Sorowako, South Sulawesi, quoted on Monday (19/12/2022).
Previously, Vale Indonesia announced that in nine months this year, the company had produced 43,907 tons of matte nickel, down 9% compared to the same period last year. Chief Financial Officer Vale Indonesia Bernardus Irmanto explained that this was mainly due to the implementation of the Tanur 4 redevelopment project in the first half of 2022.
"We will optimize our production to achieve the remaining targets this year while still implementing high occupational safety standards and protocols in our operations," Irmanto explained in an information disclosure.
However, to achieve the 2023 production target, Abu has not been able to inform the value of capital expenditure (capex) next year. On the same occasion, he informed that Vale Indonesia has a sustaining capex of US$ 130 million as budgeted this year.
"Capital expenditure is still in the process of approval, for PT Vale's capex, yes, last year it was approximately US$ 130 million, so approximately next year it will be like that for Sorowako. The whole of Pomalaa, Sorowako, Bahodopi is huge," he continued.
Abu detailed that the company has a sustaining capex and capex budget for expansion. Therefore, the total consolidated capex next year cannot be informed because the development of projects in Pomalaa and Bahodopi is expected to require large funds, beyond sustaining capex.
If you only take into account Vale's capex in Sorowako, the value is estimated to be not much different from this year. Because the capital expenditure budget is for sustaining operations.
"So first, Pomalaa, then groundbreaking Bahodopi next month, God willing, next year Sorowako HPAL (high pressure acid leaching) as well. So three developing projects for PT Vale," Abu concluded.
Previously, the issuer coded INCO shares together with Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co Ltd (Huayou), carried out groundbreaking as a sign of the start of development of the Pomalaa Block project in Kolaka Regency, Southeast Sulawesi, on November 27, 2022.
The INCO project, which will operate under the auspices of PT Kolaka Nickel Indonesia (KNI), is estimated to have a total investment package for HPAL plants and mines reaching Rp 67.5 trillion and involving around 12,000 jobs for construction.
The Pomalaa Block project has been designated as a National Strategic Project by using Huayou HPAL technology to produce up to 120,000 tons of nickel per year. The Pomalaa HPAL block is targeted to produce Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) products that can be further processed into materials suitable for electric vehicle batteries.
Image source: PT Vale Indonesia Tbk (INCO). (Perseroan)