Nickel price to rise, Indpendence Group says

Growing electric vehicle battery demand coupled with the Philippines cracking down on mining spells a boon for the nickel industry, Independence Group has said.

Speaking today at Diggers & Dealers, Independence Group CEO Peter Bradford expects nickel to soon reach a supply deficit, pointing to two major catalysts to drive this new paradigm, continuing Philippine mine closures and increased electric vehicle battery demand.

Bradford said its Nova project is well positioned for this new market, stating its low development costs, “orebody which is up to 70 metres thick in the centre”, and development headers progressing at between 70 to 90 metres a week has pushed the project to 93 per cent complete.

The new Philippine Government, led by Rodrigo Duterte, has actively degraded the country’s mining industry, stating the country was willing to forgeo rent royalties of just under US$1 billion if resources companies did not fall strictly in line with new government mandates.

“We will survive as a nation with you,” Duterte told miners, according to Reuters.

“Either you follow strictly government standards or you close down.”

This nationalistic view of the country’s resources will have flow-on effects beyond just miners in the Philippines, as the country stepped into fill the gaping nickel gap left by Indonesia after the country announced it would ban nickel exports.

As of Monday, these market concerns pushed the price to its highest point since this time last year, reaching US$10,755 a tonne in London, convincing some we are on the cusp of a bull market.

This mood is carrying beyond Bradford’s comments this morning, with a positive undercurrent building at Diggers & Dealers to the metal, which some are saying may be this year’s surprise winner.