Fitch unit: Nickel output to grow 2.5% in 10 years
As mining firms are set to recover this year, nickel production in the country is expected to grow at an annual average rate of 2.5 percent over the next decade, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said.
In its latest industry report, Fitch Solutions said the country’s nickel mining output would increase by 2 percent to 346,800 metric tons (MT) this year, which is expected to sustain growth by 1.5 percent to 352,000 MT in 2020.
By 2028, total nickel mine produced in the Philippines would reach 402,420 MT, the international research group said.
Domestic miners SR Metals, Global Ferronickel, Nickel Asia Corporation and CTP Corp. will account for the vast majority of nickel production in the country, Fitch Solutions said.
“Nickel Asia, in particular, will remain the driver of nickel production in the Philippines, especially as its Taganito and Cagdianoa mines, the first and second largest in the country respectively, have not been hit by the recent closures and suspensions,” it added.
Currently, the Philippines is the world’s second largest producer of nickel, next to Indonesia.
Fitch Solutions said Indonesia surpassed the Philippines as the largest global producer in 2017 and “will remain so in the years to come” due to stringent environmental regulations and policy uncertainty that will continue to limit the latter’s nickel production.
“The production disruptions began in June 2016 when then-Environmental Secretary Regina Lopez carried out a series of environmental audits that led to the closure of many of the country’s 41 nickel mines,” Fitch Solutions said.
While it considered that the Philippines’ nickel output will begin to increase this year, after years of decline, “Indonesia will lead nickel production growth rates from 2019-2028 among the top five global producers,” the research firm said.
However, Fitch Solutions said recovering nickel output here as well as strong Indonesian production growth will be the main drivers of the sustained increase in global nickel ore production in 2019.
“The other best-performing major producers will be Australia, which maintains a stable regulatory environment and solid project pipeline,” it said.