PHL nickel supply to depend on government mining policies – by Cai Ordinario (Business Mirror – October 21, 2016)

THE Philippines’s nickel supply in the next few years will depend on mining policies implemented in the country, the World Bank said.

In its latest Commodity Markets Outlook, the World Bank said the suspension of operations of several mining firms by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has already resulted in economic losses for the country. Nickel prices, the World Bank added, surged 16 percent due to strong stainless-steel demand, which the Philippines missed out on due to the suspensions.

“The nickel market had already moved into deficit with falling production output in the Philippines due to depletion, and declining NPI [nickel pig iron] production in China,” the World Bank said. The suspension of mining permits has effectively suspended 55 percent of the country’s nickel production, equivalent to over 10 percent of global supply, the bank added.

The Washington-based lender said the Philippines’s nickel production is exported to China for its NPI production.

Apart from the country’s mining policies, the World Bank said Indonesia’s plan to revisit its January 2014 ore-export ban will also be a factor in increasing production. The World Bank said the ban in Indonesia was designed to encourage value-added domestic processing in the country.

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