Harita Nickel to strengthen ESG pledge

A nickel sulfate plant operated by PT Halmahera Persada Lygend on Obi Island, South Halmahera, is pictured in this undated photograph. (The Jakarta Post/Harita Nickel)

JAKARTA: Trimegah Bangun Persada, better known as Harita Nickel, is looking to strengthen its environmental, social and governance (ESG) pledges as it seeks to expand into the European Union (EU) market.

Harita Nickel president director Roy Arman Arfandy noted that most overseas buyers of nickel cobalt alloy paid close attention to environmental standards and said the company aimed to respond by getting more ESG certifications.

Specifically, this includes the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) certificate, which he claimed was one of the most widely accepted and rigorous standards in the mining industry.

To date, only mining giant Vale Indonesia has secured that certificate in the country, he added.

“We hope that the audit will be completed by the end of this year so we can be IRMA-certified by early next year,” he told The Jakarta Post, while mentioning an impending EU regulation that will make a so-called “battery passport” mandatory in 2027.

The regulation, which aims to address information gaps for products and components throughout global supply chains, will require all electric vehicle (EV) and industrial batteries exceeding a capacity of two kilowatt-hours (kWh) and sold in the EU market to come with a unique “battery passport” retrievable through a QR code.

“So, if we don’t have all the required certification, it will be difficult for us to sell goods to Europe, for instance.”

Ahmad Zuhdi Dwi Kusuma, an industry and regional analyst at state-owned Bank Mandiri, does not consider ESG certification to be a short-term priority for domestic mining firms in general.

This is given that most of the investors and buyers of Indonesian mining products are based in Asian countries, such as China and India, with only a small share of output exported to Europe.

“Unless all importing countries (suddenly) demand ESG standards to be enforced by these mining firms, there is no rush in meeting ESG standards,” he told the Post.

Meanwhile, Energy Shift Institute managing director Putra Adhiguna expects EU regulations on imported batteries or battery materials to become stricter in the future. “Many suppliers have anticipated the new rules,” he told the Post.

Harita Nickel, part of local conglomerate Harita Group, brought a nickel smelter onstream in 2021 with China’s Lygend Resources & Technology. The facility became the first in Indonesia to use high-pressure acid leach technology to extract nickel from low-grade ores.

The company produces mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), a raw material used in EV batteries, through its subsidiary Halmahera Persada Lygend (HPL), which has an installed capacity of 55,000 tonnes of nickel content in MHP.

That figure is expected to increase by another 65,000 tonnes of nickel content in MHP once the Obi Nickel Cobalt facility begins full operations by the end of this year. — The Jakarta Post/ANN

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Harita Nickel , ESG , mining


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