MOSCOW, March 6 (Reuters) – Russian mining firm Norilsk Nickel said on Tuesday rising use of batteries in electric vehicles would create strong demand for nickel from the 2020s.
Nornickel, which vies with Brazil’s Vale SA to be the world’s biggest nickel producer, said the battery industry would use more than 500,000 tonnes a year of the metal by 2025.
It said this “equals almost half of the current consumption of Class 1 nickel”, referring to the highest quality nickel that is now mainly used as an ingredient to produce stainless steel.
Nornickel, which is well positioned to benefit from the rise in electric vehicles as it mines cobalt which is also used in battery production, sold 215,000 tonnes of nickel in 2017.
It sold 3,000 tonnes of cobalt in 2017, down from 5,000 tonnes in 2016, citing “a problem with its quality” that Nornickel said had been fixed. It said it would work to reduce its cobalt stockpile soon.