Chinas Weiming Group, which makes equipment to treat solid waste, has signed a deal to invest in a $400 million project to produce nickel matte in Indonesia, becoming the latest Chinese firm to enter the Southeast Asia countrys battery supply chain.
Weiming said the Indigo tie-up, described as a framework agreement, would also focus on the development of low-grade nickel ore and tailings utilisation technology. Mine tailings are the crushed remnants of ore.
The company plans to increase investment in the new energy industry chain, and will draw on its experience in manufacturing environmentally friendly equipment, its statement, issued on Wednesday, said.
Weiming is based in Wenzhou in Chinas Zhejiang province, the same city that is home to top global nickel producer Tsingshan Holding Group.
Tsingshan has several projects in Indonesia and in March roiled nickel markets by announcing plans to make matte at scale and sell it to companies making battery materials.
In late June, Weiming signed a broad strategic cooperation agreement with Tsingshan that envisaged cooperation in areas including waste battery recycling and treatment of mine tailings.
It was not immediately clear if Indigo had any affiliation with Tsingshan.