Head of the Center for Mineral, Coal and Geothermal Resources (PSDMBP) of the Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (Kementerian ESDM), Iman Sinulingga, explained the results of finalization test or validation of the Step Temperature Acid Leach (STAL) technology, on Tuesday (6/4) in Bogor. Based on the final result report of that validation test, STAL technology is proven to be able to increase the recovery of Nickel (Ni) and Cobalt (Co) to reach 94% Ni and 95% Co.
“We appreciate the results of the technology validation testing that has been carried out by the PSDMBP team, together with Prof. Zaki Mubarok and PT TMM (PT Trinitan Metals & Minerals Tbk), with nickel and cobalt recovery results that can reach 94% nickel and 95% cobalt. It is a proud result, so we are able to say that STAL technology has been proven,” Iman Sinulingga said.
Meanwhile, STAL technology is a hydrometallurgical mineral processing technology, developed by TMM and owned by PT Hydrotech Metal Indonesia (HMI). This is a national technological innovation able to convert low-grade laterite nickel ore into Pregnant Leach Solution (PLS) within 4 hours, and can be processed into advanced products such as Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP).
According to Iman Sinulingga, the development of STAL technology, which is capable of processing low grade laterite nickel ore, is a very strategic technological breakthrough. Furthermore, Iman also emphasized that his party is very supportive so that the application of STAL technology can be immediately actualized on an industrial scale, so that low grade nickel raw materials can be utilized.
“We also know that the TMM expert team has conducted a commercialization study, where STAL technology on an industrial scale has been considered economically feasible. So, we hope that TMM can soon actualize an electric battery industry by utilizing low-grade Ni-Co laterite,” Iman Sinulingga said.
On the same occasion, Prof. Zaki Mubarok said that the STAL technology was proven to be able to process low grade nickel ore effectively. Technically, he said, STAL technology was able to extract nickel with good recovery, and then acid consumption could also be reduced compared to direct leaching.
“For nickel, it varies in the range of 87-94%, while for cobalt it is in the range of 90-95%. It depends on the process variable. I think that’s positive. So, STAL technology is actually more suitable for low grade laterite nickel ore,” Prof. Zaki said.
Meanwhile, the President Director of TMM, Petrus Tjandra appreciated the support given by Mr. Iman Sinulingga and the PSDMBP team of the Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, as well as Prof. Zaki Mubarok for the support and assistance provided in testing the STAL hydrometallurgical technology.
“We hope that the STAL technology that we have developed can fully contribute to supporting the ideals of nickel downstream in Indonesia,” Petrus Tjandra said. (*)