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Ford signs nickel smelter deal with Vale Indonesia, Huayou

Equity investments are part of $4.5bn development of Sulawesi block

Workers monitor operations at a nickel smelter run by Vale in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province on March 30. Vale, Ford Motor and China's Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt have agreed to develop a new smelter in a neighboring region.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Ford Motor has signed a definitive agreement with the Indonesian unit of Brazilian mining giant Vale and Chinese battery materials producer Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt for joint investments in a nickel smelter project in Indonesia.

The three companies are making equity investments in the development of a high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) plant in Pomalaa Block, Vale's nickel mining and processing complex on the southeastern part of Sulawesi island that broke ground in November. Vale earlier said that investments are estimated to reach up to 67.5 trillion rupiah ($4.5 billion) to develop the block's mining operations and refinery.

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