Jakarta – An ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) consultant from PT Mitra Rekayasa Keberlanjutan (MRKL), Aldi Muhammad Alizar highlighted the importance of having nickel processing technology that focuses on ESG aspects.
According to Aldi, High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) is a nickel processing technology for hydrometallurgical battery grade, which is currently being chosen by smelters in Indonesia. However, referring to the presentation on “Performance of the Commodity and Energy Sector and Down streaming Policy 1Q2021” delivered by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment at the Finalization of STAL Technology Validation by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and TMM, waste management is the biggest obstacle in processing limonite ore through HPAL technology.
“The way of managing HPAL waste by placing waste under deep sea area (Deep Sea Tailings Placement) is considered to have a high potential to pollute biodiversity. In fact, this method is a waste management method that is currently being considered by nickel processing companies, for the operation of their HPAL smelter in the future,” Aldi said.
Therefore, Aldi believes that Indonesian people need nickel processing technology that focuses on ESG aspects, such as Step Temperature Acid Leach (STAL) hydrometallurgical technology developed by PT Trinitan Metals & Minerals Tbk (TMM), and owned by PT Hydrotech Metal Indonesia (HMI). The goal, he said, is to accommodate foreign investors who are ‘glaring at’ the ESG aspect and make it the main condition for investing, such as Elon Musk and Tesla, for example, if they want to come and invest in Indonesia.
“STAL is a breakthrough in environmentally friendly technology that can support the Low Carbon Development efforts that are currently rife in Indonesia. In addition to being low in carbon, STAL also does not require complicated waste management, and supports transparency in the form of digitizing data and information so as to increase accountability to shareholders and stakeholders,” Aldi said.
Aldi believes that STAL will have a positive impact in the form of green social and economic welfare, to the community and medium-scale nickel miners.
According to President Director of TMM, Petrus Tjandra, STAL technology applies zero waste management in its operations, where the processed waste produced will be able to reprocessed into by-products, in the form of iron ore for use by the steel industry, as well as in the form of bricks which can be used to build roads and bridges.
Furthermore, Petrus said that TMM through its subsidiary, PT Hydrotech Metal Indonesia (HMI) has also initiated the Green+ Program, which focuses on the ESG aspect. This program, he said, will guarantee/certify that STAL technology has prioritized the environment in its operation, in order to achieve a low-carbon economy, efficient in materials and resources.
“The Green+ Program will ensure that potential environmental pollution can be detected early, through digital controls that can show the output of exhaust gas data, as well as processed waste in real time and can be connected with interested parties,” Petrus said.
Petrus added that environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects are main focus of TMM in every plan to implement STAL technology. This, he said, is a form of the company’s commitment to answer questions about environmental issues in nickel down streaming, as well as encourage the creation of environmentally friendly national nickel governance.
In response, the Deputy Assistant for Strategic Investment at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Bimo Wijayanto, appreciated TMM’s commitment to focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects in each of its technology implementation plans. According to him, this is one step forward that can help the government to answer questions about how green is the exploitation of our mineral resources. (*)