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Ferronickel Processing
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One of ANTAM’s core strategies is to move downstream to produce higher added value processed products. The processed product currently produced by ANTAM in its nickel business line is ferronickel, which contains about 80% iron and 20% nickel. ANTAM’s ferronickel, which is differentiated as containing high or low carbon levels, is sold in the form of shots (pellets) to stainless steel producers mainly in Europe and Korea. About 70% of nickel is consumed for the production of stainless steel, while the rest is used for various industrial purposes such as batteries, electronics, aerospace applications and land based gas turbines.

ANTAM’s FeNi III Smelter Plant at Pomalaa
ANTAM’s FeNi III Smelter Plant at Pomalaa
Ferronickel Production Process
Ferronickel Production Process


To produce ferronickel, saprolite nickel ore – which contain minimum 1.8% nickel and maximum 25% iron - were first treated to become calcine through a process that crushes, dries, heats and adds certain consumables to reduce acidity, using various machines.  The treated nickel ore are then fed into ANTAM’s smelters at a ratio of about 70-80 tonnes of nickel ore – depending on the grade of the nickel ore - for every tonne of nickel contained in ferronickel. This heat base phyrometallurgical technology is extremely energy intensive and requires an assured power source.

There are three ferronickel plants owned by ANTAM: the FeNi I, FeNi II and FeNi III. The total capacity of the three plants is 26,000 TNi with an assumption of peak load of 42MW and using nickel ore with 2.38% content as feed. Nevertheless, for reserves conservation, the Company usually uses ore feed with content range between 1.8% and 2.0% and with peak load around 38 MW-40 MW, so the approximated total production of the three ferronickel plants is 18,000 – 20,000 TNi.

ANTAM’s 102 MW power plant at Pomalaa
ANTAM’s 102 MW power plant at Pomalaa
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