Our commitments to participate in developing the eastern part of Indonesia and supporting the implementation of laws and regulations particularly downstream processing in minerals is realized through sustainable low grade nickel or limonite processing and refining project by adopting environmentally friendly technology called hydrometallurgical High Pressure Acid Leaching.
The low-grade nickel processing and refining plant we are constructing is the pioneer industry or the first one in Indonesia by utilizing the low-grade nickel that have not been utilized with no economic value since they are only used for back-filling materials of the ex-mine pit area. By adopting environmentally-friendly technology, the low-grade nickel will have an added value to become a strategic business.
Low grade nickel is the raw material for the electric vehicle's battery. This environmental friendly vehicle is actively developed globally, including the Indonesian government, concerning air pollution, one of which is caused by gasoline-fueled vehicles. For us, this project is an effort to conserve minerals as well as a contribution to creating a higher quality and healthier environment in the future.
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Hydrometallurgy is a processing and refining technology by dissolving valuable minerals to be further extracted from the concentrate solution to obtain purer valuable minerals called nickel and cobalt.
The Company decides to adopt the hydrometallurgical high pressure acid leaching technology utilizing limonite type laterite ore with relatively low Ni content (Ni < 1.6%) because it is proven to produce exellence, higher recovery of Ni and Co metals, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly for utilization of energy sources.
In general, the processing and refining of low grade nickel adopting High Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) technology comprises of elevating the the value of nickel ore or commonly called beneficiation process and HPAL process. The beneficiation process is required to produce limonite and saprolite nickel ore slurry before being fed to the HPAL process. Meantime, the HPAL process is designed to generate the final products of nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate.
The downstream nickel processing adopting hydrometallurgical High Pressure Acid Leaching generates a number of products including initial products of the Mixed Hydroxide Precipitat -MHP of nickel and cobalt. The products has its own market with production capacity of 96,000 tonnes per year (Ni 37,260 tonnes/year and Co 4,577 tonnes/year. By having further processing and refining, the MHP will generate derivative products including Nickel Sulfate and Cobalt Sulfate (15.4% Ni and 1.89% Co content) of 180,000 tonnes per year as final products. Nickel Sulfate and Cobalt Sulfate are raw materials of electric vehicle batteries. All those products are generated from nickel ore mine owned by Harita Nickel namely PT Tri Megah Bangun Persada and PT Gane Permai Sentosa, planned to have input of 5,055,000 WMT limonite nickel ore per year and 158,000 WMT saprolite ore per year.
Harita Nickel is the first company in Indonesia pioneering a project to refine the low-grade nickel ores adopting Hydrometallurgical High-Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) Technology that produces battery raw materials for electric vehicles. Again, by executing this project, Harita Group demonstrates its commitments to support the government's downstream processing and minerals development program, particularly to Accelerate the Battery-Based Electric Vehicles for Road Transportation.
Labuha, 23 June 2021 – The first manufacturer of battery raw materials for electric vehicles in Indonesia producing Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) officially operates in Kawasi, Obi Island, South Halmahera Regency of North Maluku Province. The refining of low-grade nickel ores employs the Hydrometallurgical High-Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) Technology with production capacity of 365 tonnes per annum of environmentally-friendly battery raw materials for electric vehicles.
The Obi Island Industrial Park managed by Harita Group is one of the National Strategic Projects. Through the operation of Halmahera Persada Lygend, the Company is currently in the production phase of Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP). MHP is one of the intermediate products of low-grade nickel ores processing and refining before being further processed into nickel and cobalt sulphate, the battery raw materials for electrical vehicles.
"PT. Halmahera Persada Lygend operates a low-grade nickel ores (limonite) processing and refining plant by employing the Hydrometallurgical High-Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) Technology. The construction of HPAL plant was commenced in August 2018 and is currently ready for commercial production. It is the first HPAL plant in Indonesia" said President Director of Halmahera Persada Lygend Stevi Thomas in the inauguration ceremony.
Coordinating Minister for Marine Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan officially inaugurates the plant's operation and is accompanied by Minister of Home Tito Karnavian, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi, Minister of Investment / Head of Investment Agency Bahlil Lahadalia, Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Sofyan Djalil, Governor of North Maluku KH. Abdul Gani Kasuba, Regent of South Halmahera Usman Sidik, and other government officials.
“We are very proud [of the plant's operation] as we are now witnessing the history of the first HPAL establishment in Indonesia. It is proved that Indonesia is capable of operating own HPAL plant. The operation of this plant will accelerate the minerals downstream program in the future to support the electric vehicles industry. The government will certainly support the development of HPAL in Indonesia. This industry will contribute to reducing the emission levels from the use of fossil fueled vehicles.
Nickel processing and refining adopting Hydrometallurgical High-Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) Technology produces highly-functional products to reduce emissions, and supports the minerals conservation measures, in particular nickel. HPAL technology is capable of refining the low-grade nickel ores that are not processed at present. By operating the plant, such low-grade nickel ores in Indonesia has now added-values of becoming highly strategic products.
“We have to collectively support the development of this industry. Halmahera Persada Lygend is the first manufacturer producing battery raw materials for electric vehicles in Indonesia and we expect other manufactures will be established in other areas. More importantly, the operation of this company will absorb over 20 thousands workers in the future. Regional development will be accelerated. The company is the nation's asset that we must protect collectively without compromising the environment," said Luhut accompanied by KH. Abdul Gani Kasuba Governor of North Maluku.
Meantime, Regent of South Halmahera Usman Sidik said with the existing natural resources and development of nickel industry in South Halmahera, he expected that it would accelerate the regional development including acceleration of other industries in the region.
Stevi Thomas said the presence of the first low-grade nickel refining plant in Indonesia as a National Strategic Project would bring benefits to help increase the growth and equitable regional development to improve people's welfare as well as regional development.
The inauguration is marked by pressing the siren button and the signing of the inscription by Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. In addition, it marks the first export of MHP from Indonesia. After the inauguration, the entourage conducts plant tour to visually see the HPAL production process such as main control rooms and other production areas.
About Harita Group
Harita Group operates in Obi Island, Regency of South Halmahera of North Maluku Province. The Company's affiliates including Trimegah Bangun Persada, Gane Permai Sentosa, Megah Surya Pertiwi, and Halmahera Persada Lygend are operating National Vital Objects located at Obi Island Industrial Park. The entire operation is integrated into Industrial Park which is one of the National Strategic Projects consistent with Presidential Regulation Number 109 of 2020, in which Trimegah Bangun Persada acts as the proposer and executor company.
Harita Group secures 2 Mining Business Permits (IUP), a smelter and a refining plant at Obi Island. Harita Group's commitments in minerals downstream program is performed through the operation of Megah Surya Pertiwi (MSP) smelter since 2016 that adopts RKEF pyrometallurgy process to process high-grade nickel ores producing Ferronickel as the final product. Through Halmahera Persada Lygend, Harita Group has also entered its production stage of nickel processing and refining employing HPAL hydrometallurgical technology. HPAL technology is proven to process low-grade nickel ores that are not processed into Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) products with derivatives in the form of Nickel Sulfate (NiSO4) and Cobalt Sulfate CoSO4) that serve as battery raw materials for electric vehicle. The nickel ores utilize mining products operated by Trimegah Bangun Persada and Gane Permai Sentosa.
The Halmahera Persada Lygend project provides a wide range of positive impacts to all stakeholders including employment opportunities for approx. 1,900 direct employees and approx. 400 business partners when the Company operates in the future. The Company believes that all employees involved in the project are the key assets to deliver the Company's commitments in developing the eastern part of the nation as well as to create the blue sky in Indonesia.