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Global nickel production to recover in 2021

Published by , Editor
Global Mining Review,

Global nickel mine production is expected to grow by 6.8% to reach 2.42 million t in 2021, after registering an estimated 4.2% decline to 2.27 million t in 2020, owing to COVID-19-related lockdowns and restrictions, says GlobalData.

Global nickel production to recover in 2021

The data and analytics company notes that output from Indonesia (16.3%), the Philippines (5.1%) and Brazil (24%) will be significant contributors to the overall growth this year. In contrast, production is expected to decline in Russia (-13.8%) and South Africa (-15.8%).

Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments:

“Combined production from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brazil is expected to increase from a collective 1.16 million t in 2020 to 1.31 million t in 2021 – an increase of 13.5%. The increase in production will be supported by the expansion of Indonesia’s nickel industry, the resumption of production at various mines in the Philippines and the ramp up at the Santa Rita mine in Brazil, which was previously halted in 2015.

“Overall, Indonesia and the Philippines will remain as the largest sources of nickel globally. Together with Russia, New Caledonia and Australia, these five countries account for almost three-quarters of the global total.”

Looking ahead, nickel production over the forecast period is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3%, to reach 2.73 million t in 2025. Indonesia, Russia, Canada, and the Philippines will be the key contributors to this growth. Combined production in these countries is expected to increase from a forecasted 1.60 million t in 2021 to 1.81 million t in 2025.

Bajaj continues:

“Projects with potential to commence operations during the forecast period include the Araguaia Nickel project in Brazil, which is wholly owned by Horizonte Minerals, and is currently awaiting a final investment decision (FID). The US$402.1 million project will have an annual nickel production capacity of [14 500 t] and is expected to commence operations in 2022. During early 2021, the project’s infrastructure including the award of construction licences for the transmission line and the water pipeline were approved by the company. Tenders for the supply of key equipment and services have been completed for approximately US$230 million.”

The Aquila Nickel project in Indonesia, which is wholly owned by Solway Investment Group, has obtained its regulatory approvals and permissions. The US$57 million project will have an annual nickel production capacity of 16 600 t and is expected to commence operations in 2023.

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