Nickel industry banking on Build, Build, Build to spur growth
The Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) is banking on the government’s ambitious infrastructure program to drive near-term industrial growth.
“With the tremendous growth projected in the infrastructure sector brought about by the government’s Build, Build, Build program, we see a wide area of engagement,” PNIA president Dante Bravo said.
Bravo is also the president and chief executive officer of Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. (FNI), the country’s second-largest nickel producer.
FNI currently exports its ores to steel makers in China and Japan.
“On one hand, there is demand for steel which increased by 9.2% to 10.7 million metric tons in 2018. On the other, there is limited local production accounting for just 56% of our steel consumption against a high steel importation of 44% in 2018,” said Bravo.
“It is simply not possible to be certain what mining will look like many years down the road. Save for the uncertainties in economic and political variables which can impact our performance, the future of the Philippine nickel industry looks bright,” he said.
“Demand for growth is on the uptick while global supply is limited. As commodity prices fluctuate, mining companies begin to adapt to new realities,” Bravo added.
To increase revenue, FNI has shifted to producing more medium- and high-grade ore.
“In fact, we expect a better bottom line this year because we are able to ship higher grade. That’s to compensate for the lower volume,” Bravo said.