back to article Never mind the Saudis: Here's a new OPEC for EV battery metals

Indonesia is looking to use its position as the nickel capital of the world to set up a cartel with other like-minded mining empires, similar to the way OPEC joins forces to control the global crude oil market. This is at a time when demand for nickel surges and the world struggles to move from fossil fuel-based autos to …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Imperial Copper

    Fortunately the North American colonies contain the largest copper reserves - hurrah

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Imperial Copper

      A nickel is worth 5 times a copper.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Imperial Copper

        Fortunately His Majesty's Northern Empire also contains giant nickels

        As opposed to the Northern Territories that just contain useless diamonds

    2. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

      Re: Imperial Copper

      Unfortunately the American view of the world is that it owns the whole world.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Imperial Copper

        Up To A Point...

    3. Xalran

      Re: Imperial Copper

      I beg to differ.

      the largest copper reserves are in South America ( Chile ) :

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_copper

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Imperial Copper

        Yes I was thinking nickel and typed copper - which did at least lead to the humorous numismatic bit

  2. JimmyPage

    Didn't the Chinese try something similar with "rare" earth metals ?

    and all that happened was previously uneconomic mines became economic ?

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Didn't the Chinese try something similar with "rare" earth metals ?

      I don't think China actually tried anything of the sort, but the 'yellow peril' types were adamant that they were. China didn't try it because contestable monopolies are contestable, as you say.

      The same thing applies here.

      https://nickelinstitute.org/en/about-nickel-and-its-applications

      Just to remind everyone:

      "The terms “reserves” and “resources” are used to describe the availability of raw materials. The Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards defines the terms as follows: “A mineral resource is a concentration or occurrence of solid material of economic interest in or on the Earth’s crust in such form, grade or quality and quantity that there are reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction. A mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of a Measured and/or Indicated Mineral Resource.”

      "‘Reserves’ imply an increased level of knowledge and confidence. Mining companies continuously convert resources into reserves by exploration."

      So while Indonesia has a far proportion of the world's current reserves, it doesn't have any significant amount of the world's nickel resources.

      1. Tim Worstal

        Re: Didn't the Chinese try something similar with "rare" earth metals ?

        Huzzah, someone has it right. Those explanations here a decade back weren't in vain then.

        1. BeefEater

          Re: Didn't the Chinese try something similar with "rare" earth metals ?

          I, for one, miss your input from the past.

          Nice to see that you are still reading at least.

        2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Didn't the Chinese try something similar with "rare" earth metals ?

          Cheers, Tim. You're good at explaining economics, shame you're such a cock about social matters that I don't want to link anyone to anything you've written.

          1. Tim Worstal

            Re: Didn't the Chinese try something similar with "rare" earth metals ?

            Clearly I should become a curate if parts of me are excellent.....

        3. JimmyPage
          Happy

          Re: Didn't the Chinese try something similar with "rare" earth metals ?

          and the reason I knew that was I read your article in El Reg !

      2. Xalran

        Re: Didn't the Chinese try something similar with "rare" earth metals ?

        there's quite a bit of nickel mined in the Pacific, on a French Island called New Caledonia.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_mining_in_New_Caledonia

    2. RLWatkins

      Re: Didn't the Chinese try something similar with "rare" earth metals ?

      They did indeed.

      They sold lanthanides for less than cost for long enough to kill lanthanide mining in the US and Australia, which have large deposits. Then they announced that they would not export raw lanthanides but would sell finished products containing the metals to one and all.

      US lanthanide mining continued to languish, last I checked, but the Australians said, "No, no, we'll start mining again."

      This all played out years and years ago, so the US may have resumed lanthanide mining also. In any event, it backfired on them.

      Same will happen with nickel and cobalt. Plenty of nickel and cobalt elsewhere. And manganese can be found lying all over the ocean floor in MnO nodules.

      1. Tim Worstal

        Re: Didn't the Chinese try something similar with "rare" earth metals ?

        The MnO nodules also contain ......nickel, copper and cobalt.

  3. Lordrobot

    Looks like JOE needs a NICKLE ACT... Intel will bite

    Rank Country/Region Nickel production (tonnes)

    1 Indonesia 800,000

    2 Philippines 420,000

    3 Russia 270,000

    4 New Caledonia 220,000

    5= Canada 180,000

    5= Australia 180,000

    7 China 110,000

    8 Brazil 67,000

    9 Cuba 51,000

    10 United States 14,000

    Joe still has Tariffs imposed against Canadian Steel and Aluminum... way to go Joe you dope. Joe's still stopping Murcians from visiting Cuber... way to go JOE! Joe has Sanctions against Russia.

    How are those Battery Plants coming Joe?

    UH OH... Indonesia's biggest trade partner is CHINER...

    SCHUMER SECURES $63.7 MILLION FOR BINGHAMTON [Pork Chops for Binghamton]

    Sep 2, 2022 — Schumer: The Southern Tier & Finger Lakes Will Power The Future Of Battery Research & Manufacturing For America.

    [Sure they will Chuck sure they will...Have you considered a battery plant for the Catskills?] /BTW this was part of the "INFLATION REDUCTION ACT..."

  4. NeilPost Silver badge

    BBC Scramble Rate Earths

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001cdr6

    A great investigation any Misha ‘McMafia’ Glenny.

  5. Roland6 Silver badge

    OPEC for (EV battery) metals

    I always thought this was going to happen, it seems with climate change etc. we've finally reached the point where the nations we've traditionally exploited are overcoming their differences and grouping together to look after their interests.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OPEC for (EV battery) metals

      All they'll achieve is a faster move to LiFePO4 batteries which are safer than Lithium Ion ones anyway.

      If you want to f*ck over your customers then first make sure they have no viable alternative in play.

  6. crayon

    "I don't think China actually tried anything of the sort, but the 'yellow peril' types were adamant that they were. China didn't try it because contestable monopolies are contestable, as you say."

    They did something smarter. They consolidated several rare earths companies into a single entity and based it in Xinjiang. Now the US will have to certify that that company's products are free from slave labour and whatever other nonsense that the US thinks of, or stop importing.

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