Metals expert warns of shortage of high-grade nickel near 2030 – by Erwida Maulia (Asia Nikkei – June 7, 2024)

Comes amid surging demand from EV battery producers

JAKARTA — Demand for the kind of high-grade nickel used to make electric vehicle batteries is set to outpace supply in the coming years, a metals expert said at an industry conference in Indonesia this week.

Allan Ray Restauro, a metals and mining analyst at energy researcher BloombergNEF, told the Indonesia Miner event in Jakarta that output of so-called Class 1 nickel is unlikely to accelerate rapidly enough to catch up with growing demand, even as production of lower-quality varieties of the metal surges.

“The Class 1 nickel market [is] still at risk of deficits before the end of the decade,” said Restauro, pointing at a chart indicating these shortfalls are likely to start in 2029 and widen the following year.

Despite slowing growth in the past couple of years, sales of electric vehicles are projected to keep expanding over the next few decades, driving up demand for lithium ion batteries and therefore Class 1 nickel, or high-purity nickel, which is commonly used to produce them.

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