VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Nickel prices stand most to gain from the advent of electric vehicles (EVs), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) said on Friday in its latest ‘Global Metals Weekly’ report.
According to the research team, despite China remaining an important driver of market demand, following on from being the secular demand driver for metals in the past decade, a push to make economies greener has given rise to structural demand increases from a range of sectors.
“EVs have been a focal point of late and copper (batteries, wiring, charging infrastructure), lithium (batteries), cobalt (batteries) and nickel (batteries) should all benefit. While we are bullish copper in the medium term, EVs are unlikely to be sufficient, on their own, to drive a sustained bull market.
“Meanwhile, there are a lot of lithium projects in the pipeline and many battery producers try to engineer out cobalt. This leaves nickel, a key ingredient to both nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) oxide batteries and lithium-manganese-cobalt (LMC) oxide batteries, as a key beneficiary,” BofAML stated.
While base metals production tends to be relatively straightforward, nickel is an exception and it is produced through three main routes. This is heavily influenced by differences in ore types, with miners tapping sulphide and laterite ore bodies.