The Indonesian unit of Brazil’s mining giant Vale said on Thursday it has signed a framework agreement with China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt to build a plant to produce minerals used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Under the agreement, Huayou will develop the Pomalaa project in Southeast Sulawesi and Vale Indonesia would have rights to acquire up to 30% stake in the project, Vale said.
Vale would supply nickel ore for the facility that would use a process called high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) which would have production capacity of 120,000 tonnes of nickel content per year, Vale said in a statement.
Vale had previously been working with Japanese miner and smelter Sumitomo Metal Mining on a feasibility study for the Pomalaa project since 2012.
Sumitomo Metal Mining said on Monday it has decided to discontinue the study because of a disagreement with Vale Indonesia.
“Huayou has proven its track record in HPAL construction and operations in Indonesia,” Vale chief executive Febriany Eddy said in the statement.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell