The global nickel market is forecast to experience slower growth by 2020, according to a report by GlobalData.
Titled ‘Global Nickel Mining to 2020’, the report attributes the slower growth to mine closures due to low prices of nickel and higher operating costs.
A number of nickel projects, including the Savannah and Mount Keith mines in Australia, the Cantilan nickel project in the Philippines, and the Lac Des Iles mine in Canada are expected to be closed over the next five years.
Despite a rise in demand for nickel owing to an increase in population and urbanisation in emerging economies such as China and India, global refined nickel consumption is expected to decrease due to the existing low prices, opines GlobalData’s head of research and analysis for mining Cliff Smee.
Global consumption is set to marginally increase from 2,000 tonnes (kt) in 2016 to 2,023kt by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate of 1.3%, which is lower compared to the CAGR of 5.23% during 2010-2015.
As warehouse stocks begin to deplete, prices are expected to increase and the market is projected to return to growth post-2020, adds Smee.
The high prices post-2020 are also expected to support the development of new projects such as the Araguaia project in Brazil, the Mandiodo project in Indonesia, the Wingellina and Hooneymoon Well projects in Australia and the Platreef project in South Africa.