Strong global demand seen to boost investments in nickel exploration
The high global demand for nickel, particularly for the manufacturing of public transport vehicles, is expected to drive investments in exploration for more reserves in the Philippines, according to market research firm TechNavio.
Nickel is used in making urban transportation such as sky buses, monorails, metro rail and buses.
The market research firm forecasts the global nickel demand to grow by about 5 percent yearly up to 2019.
“Many big companies in China and India are funding the development of greenfield mines in underdeveloped countries like Burma, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea to support nickel extraction and production,” Chandrakumar Badala Jaganathan, one of Technavio’s lead analysts for metals and minerals, said in a statement.
“The United States and European companies are also expressing keen interest in funding discovery of mines in countries such as the Philippines,” the analyst said.
Such increased demand is forcing existing nickel mining companies to consider exploring and discovering newer reserves of nickel, he said.
However, the discovery of alternatives that can replace nickel in a variety of applications is expected to deter the growth of the market.
Examples are chromium, which is being used in the manufacture of stainless steel, and titanium alloys, which limit corrosion in piping used in the power and petroleum industries.
These alternatives are anticipated to decrease the sales of nickel and limit the market growth during the forecast period, TechNavio said.
Earlier this week, Global Ferronickel Holdings (FNI) said it had secured off-take agreements with steel makers in China, which have committed to buy 4.5 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore this year.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.