Nickel Downstreaming, Illusion of Welfare, and Destruction of Sulawesi’s Biodiversity

Thursday, 17 August 2023

Mineral or nickel industry downstreaming has suddenly become a hot topic of conversation in Indonesia. This is due to President Joko Widodo’s statement during a speech at the annual session of the Indonesian People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR RI) on August 16, 2023 which said that nickel downstreaming in Indonesia has provided great benefits for the nation and people of Indonesia. In addition, 43 nickel smelting plants that have been built in Indonesia will generate enormous job opportunities for Indonesian people.

From this statement, we assess that President Joko Widodo is very happy and proud of this statement. President seems to want to say to all Indonesian citizens that thanks to downstream, there will be investment assistance in the nickel mineral sector which will contribute to improving Indonesia’s economy. But unfortunately, President is not honest and open about various problems and negative impacts due to nickel minerals downstreaming in Indonesia, especially in nickel-producing areas such as Sulawesi.