Indonesian president to meet with Elon Musk over potential nickel supply deal

Indonesian President Joko Widodo plans to meet Tesla CEO Elon Musk during his upcoming visit to the United States with the hopes of securing a nickel supply deal with the world’s leading EV automaker.

Widodo is set to travel to Washington this week for a summit of Southeast Asian leaders.

The planned meeting comes as representatives from Tesla are currently in Indonesia and planning to visit Sulawesi island, home to the Morawali nickel production hub, the largest nickel mine in the region.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister of Investment and Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar said on Monday Tesla was impressed after reviewing initial data on the site.

“They will visit Morowali…They are very satisfied with the data they have received so far,” he said. (via Reuters)

Luhut has already met with Musk, travelling with colleagues to Giga Texas in April to discuss his country’s nickel mines with the Tesla CEO. “I did not expect to be greeted so cordially and cordially by the CEO of Tesla, Inc. Elon Musk, at the Tesla Giga Factory in Austin, Texas,” Luhut said in an Instagram post after the meeting.

Tesla is on the hunt to secure an ample supply of nickel, one of the key ingredients that goes in to making an electric vehicle battery, as demand for the mineral heats up.

Just last week Tesla confirmed a new nickel supply deal with connections to Canada. Vale will be providing the automaker with low-carbon class 1 nickel from its Canadian operations in Voisey Bay in northern Labrador.

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