Indonesia’s ban on exports of nickel ore is set to continue, although the country’s mining ministry has allowed the overseas sale of some other minerals, as per media reports. Last month, the country had granted permissions to miners building smelters to export material for three years.
The ban on nickel ores was announced in July 2019 and came into effect from Jan 2020. The ban was imposed following President Joko Widodo’s plan to promote inland processing of minerals over exporting raw ores. A large volume of nickel ore from Indonesia used to be exported to China. In 2019, Indonesia exported 32.4mn mt of nickel ore, of which 31.1mn mt was exported to China, 1.2mn mt to Ukraine and the rest to Japan. After the ban, it is believed the Philippines is likely to fill in the void left by Indonesia in the nickel market.