Indonesia will press on with plans to expand nickel output despite a supply glut that is forcing rivals to shut down mines, as the world's top producer aims to keep prices low and protect long-term demand for the metal crucial to electric car batteries, a senior government official has said.

The country's production capacity for battery-grade nickel is expected to quadruple to 1mn tonnes by 2030, said Septian Hario Seto, the deputy co-ordinating minister for investment and mining. Capacity for nickel pig iron, which is used to make stainless steel, is projected to expand by up to 15 per cent in three years from the current 1.9mn tonnes, he added.

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