Copyright© GIZ/ Mayely Müller
20.06.2023 OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains 2023 Partner Session: “From Mine to battery: Responsible Nickel Supply Chains for the Energy Transition”
Yannic Kiewitt, Senior Policy Officer at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Dr. Sylvia van Ziegert, German Director of CSD and Sun Lihui, Director of the Development Department at CCCMC opened the event with introductory remarks. Indonesia is currently the largest nickel producing country, accounting for more than a third of global production and about a quarter of all nickel reserves. Nickel is an essential component of various technologies for the energy transition, especially lithium-ion batteries, and a broad range of electronic products. Considering the increasing demand within the next years, Indonesia’s nickel industry is likely to become of strategic importance worldwide. However, nickel supply chains also pose challenges. Nickel mining and processing as well as the manufacturing of battery material all have significant social and environmental impacts. In an effort to foster responsible nickel supply chains, development cooperation projects and initiatives play a crucial role.
The study “Nickel for the Energy Transition – A Developmental Perspective”, which was recently launched, was presented by the author Jannick Saegert. He offered a deep dive into Indonesia’s pathway towards integrated nickel supply chains and the rise of Chinese investment in nickel industrial parks. Environmental and social impacts along the nickel supply chain in Indonesia include soil and air pollution, deep-sea tailings disposals, biodiversity loss due to deforestation, faulty waste management, a heavy GHG footprint of mining and processing, tensions with adjacent communities and inadequate labor rights. The study provides recommendations for different stakeholder groups. Additionally, it discusses the implications of international due diligence laws on global nickel supply chains and the role of sustainability standards and initiatives.
These insights were followed by a panel discussion with Mark Mistry, Senior Manager Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Sustainability of The Nickel Institute, Sun Lihui, Director of the Development Department, of CCCMC, Li Zhongning, Head of ESG & Sustainability of Huayou Cobalt, and Ade Cahyat, Senior Advisor at GIZ Indonesia. The discussion focused on the question of how to effectively foster responsible nickel supply chains based on the experiences of Indonesian, Chinese and European stakeholders.
The large number of participants on site at the OECD headquarters in Paris and online reflected the great interest in the topic. The session was closed by the Sector Project “Extractives and Development” (GIZ) .