Australia’s Greenfield and Brownfield projects are set to play a significant role in the expected rise of global nickel demand. The rise is predicted to be 2.6 million tonnes in 2040.
The electronic vehicle demand will be the single largest growth sector for nickel in the next 20 years. Australia is set to contribute more than 25% of new mined supply by 2030.
The largest producer of nickel sulphate is currently China, which is used in electronic vehicle batteries. Australia is expected to become the second largest nickel sulphate producer, overtaking Japan and Taiwan.
However, second place may be short lived as recycled feedstock is expected to be increasingly used in nickel sulphate production which could see Japan return to second place by 2040.
According to a recent Roskill report, the production of refined materials from nickel would outweigh mine production in the coming years. They also suggest that a deficit in the nickel market could be avoided by recycling batteries to produce nickel sulphate.
“Should a sizeable EOL (end of life) recycling industry not be established, we expect a supply deficit to form in 2027 and then remain over the rest of the outlook period,” Roskill stated.
Global nickel demand reached 92,000 tonnes in 2020 according to the Roskill report.