Trimegah Bangun Persada

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"Harita Nickel Goes to Campus," discusses the challenges of nickel mining and environmental sustainability

10 November 2023

TRIBUNJABAR.ID, BANDUNG - A total of 300 students from Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) attended a public lecture titled "Challenges in Nickel Mining and Environmental Sustainability: Learning from Obi Island" at the ITB East Lecture Building on Ganesa Street, Bandung, on Friday (10/10/2023).

Tonny Gultom, Director of Health Safety and Environment (HSE) at Harita Nickel, served as the speaker for the lecture, which was chaired by Dr. Muhammad Sonny Abfertiawan, S.T, M.T. from the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering at ITB.

Tonny Gultom was accompanied by Lesbon Sitorus, Solomon Willyarta, and Muhammad Galih Setia from Harita Nickel.

The public lecture was attended by ITB students from the Environmental Engineering, Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering programs.

For Harita, this event is part of the "Harita Nickel Goes to Campus" series held at various universities in Indonesia.

During the lecture, it was revealed that Indonesia is the world's largest nickel producer with an estimated total production of 1.6 million metric tons, contributing 48.48 percent of the world's nickel production.

With such potential, Indonesia is emerging as a strategic player globally, aligning with the growing global demand for nickel, especially for industries such as electric vehicles and renewable energy.

As is well known, nickel plays a crucial role in supporting various aspects and has transformed the world's civilization. Nickel is an integral part of daily life as a component in stainless steel for household appliances, as a blend with iron and steel for construction materials in buildings and railroad tracks, and is used in batteries and other renewable energy technologies. This makes the potential of the nickel market increasingly attractive.

"Nickel is also becoming the most sought-after mineral in growing industries such as electric vehicles and renewable energy. The increasing awareness of society, especially the younger generation, towards environmental sustainability has garnered positive support for these efforts from various quarters," said Tonny Gultom.

According to him, Obi Island, where Harita Nickel operates, is an island of approximately 2,345 square kilometers in North Maluku Province and is one of the largest nickel mining sites in Indonesia.

Obi Industrial Zone has been designated as one of the National Strategic Projects (PSN) based on Presidential Regulation No. 109 of 2020 on the Third Amendment of Presidential Regulation No. 3 of 2016 on the Acceleration of the Implementation of National Strategic Projects.

The implementation of the PSN in the industrial zone will be carried out by PT Trimegah Bangun Persada in cooperation with tenants/associated companies that are already operational.

Nickel from Obi Island has played a crucial role in the world's new civilization. According to Tonny, Indonesia has learned a lot from Obi Island and hopes to develop nickel through the application of environmentally friendly technologies.

With the rapid development of environmentally friendly technologies, the presence of nickel is in high demand worldwide. The skills and dedication of the sons and daughters of the nation who work there represent the quality of Indonesia's human resources.

Mutual Needs

The Harita Nickel Goes to Campus event was well received by the ITB representative, Muhammad Sonny Abfertiawan.

According to Sonny, the presence of practitioners on campus is much needed to provide an overview of the real working world. Specifically on the topic of nickel, which will be discussed in this public lecture, he believes it is very relevant to current conditions.

"Students need to realize the importance of nickel in life. They can do a lot of research and innovation to optimize the benefits of nickel, which is one of Indonesia's leading mining resources according to the government's expectations in terms of downstream processing," Sonny said. In addition to technical issues in mining and its technology, students are also given an overview of careers in nickel companies.

This public lecture covers many aspects of nickel and its development globally, as well as Indonesia's role in it.

Students will gain an understanding of the nickel industry, including its production processes, primary uses in various applications, and associated economic and environmental impacts.

Students will also gain an understanding of the global dimensions of the nickel industry, including international trade, energy policy, and international relations.

"I am attending this public lecture because I want to know the general process of nickel mining and also how the treatment of liquid waste in nickel mining works," said Jesica Margaretha, an Environmental Engineering student at ITB.

Meanwhile, Marshal Zulkarnaen Hartono, a Mining Engineering student at ITB, stated that he wants to know the contributions Harita has made to improving the well-being of the communities around its mining sites.

In general, based on a survey conducted among the audience, students attending this event are interested in understanding the environmental management around mining areas, technology in nickel mining, the future of the nickel industry, the sustainability of the nickel industry, and exploring career opportunities.

In addition to public lectures, Harita Nickel also collaborates with universities and other sectors to promote downstream processing and the development of a broader industrial ecosystem.

Collaboration is also carried out in terms of research and innovation in the nickel industry, including the development of new technologies, more efficient processing, and more sustainable usage.

Especially for students, this public lecture event also provides fundamental knowledge useful for their career development.

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