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Indonesia's nickel export ban spurs rush into vital EV metal supplier

POSCO, BASF and Ford join investment race, with Chinese players in the lead

An excavator loads a truck with nickel ore at a mine operated by Vale in South Sulawesi province. Indonesia is the world's largest producer of the material.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- From Asia to Europe to the U.S., multinationals have made moves into Indonesia to secure access to its vast reserves of nickel, as the country's export restrictions fuel competition for an essential metal for electric vehicle batteries.

South Korean steelmaker POSCO Holdings on May 3 said it would would spend $441 million to build a nickel refinery on the Indonesian island of Halmahera, in North Maluku province. Construction is slated to begin by the end of the year, with the goal of starting operations in 2025.

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