Archive | Nickel Laterites

Metals Behind EV Revolution to Resume Volatile Rally – Again – by Annie Lee and Eddie Spence (Bloomberg News – January 14, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Battery metals are set to rebound this year as an electric-vehicle boom is bolstered by post-pandemic push for a green economic recovery.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has indicated the sector could get a boost, while China wants new energy vehicles to account for about 20% of total new car sales by 2025. Germany has extended subsidies on EVs for an extra four years, and the U.K. will ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

The markets for metals such as lithium and cobalt, which soared in 2018 before slumping on concerns about oversupply, will be underpinned by a step change in battery demand. Global EV sales are projected to surge 60% this year, according to BloombergNEF. Continue Reading →

Nickel Soars And Could Keep Flying As Demand Rises And Supply Falls – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – January 14, 2021)

Demand up. Supply down. Price heading for a 10-year high. It doesn’t get much better for nickel—except for the potential to get a lot better for a metal which has a well-earned reputation for extreme highs (and lows).

Since suffering a Covid-19 collapse last March when the price fell to $10,800 a ton, nickel has been on a largely uninterrupted rise to last sales at $18,244/t, up almost 70% in 10 months.

Next target for nickel, which is a critical ingredient in high quality stainless steel and the batteries used in most electric vehicles (EVs) is $20,000/t, a level reached in the early 2012. Continue Reading →

Indonesia’s EV battery aspirations unearth mining waste problems – by Ursula Florene ( – January 14, 2021)

By catering to the global hunger for EVs and its domestic economic growth, Indonesia risks destroying its own environment.

Indonesia is one of the world’s top producers of battery minerals and the first global producer of nickel, an essential component to produce lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. That places the country at the core of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.

Home to 25% of the world’s nickel resources, Indonesia also has rich resources of cobalt and copper, other essential minerals for battery production. Based on its assets, the country is developing its own EV industry and has plans to become a global EV battery production hub.

Under President Joko Widodo’s administration, Indonesia is set to begin EV domestic production by 2021 or 2022 with the goal of exporting 200,000 EVs by 2025, or about 20% of the estimated total of exported cars. Continue Reading →

Nickel Outlook 2021: Strong Demand Recovery Ahead, Supply to Increase – by Priscila Barrera (Nickel Investing News – December 17, 2020)


Despite the uncertainty brought by the coronavirus pandemic, nickel rebounded sharply this year from Q1 lows seen after COVID-19-related lockdown measures.

Positive investor sentiment around the use of nickel in electric vehicle (EV) batteries surged, although analysts still expect demand from the battery industry to lag behind steel demand for some time.

As the year comes to a close, the Investing News Network (INN) asked analysts in the field for their thoughts on what’s ahead for the base metal. Read on for their predictions. Continue Reading →

Eramet faces continued challenges in New Caledonia, despite rescue plan success – by Simone Liedtke ( – Janaury 12, 2021)

Global mining and metallurgical group Eramet’s rescue plan, which aims to ensure the sustainable recovery of the group’s New Caledonian subsidiary, is achieving the expected impact under normal operating conditions, the company confirmed on January 12.

It noted that the subsidiary, Société Le Nickel (SLN), had, in particular, managed to achieve an improvement in production costs.

SLN’s rescue plan is based on three levers, which include implementing a new business model based on plant ferronickel production and low-grade ore exports, improving productivity and reducing energy prices. Continue Reading →

Indonesia: Widodo steps up bid to woo investment from Tesla’s Elon Musk – by Resty Woro Yuniar (South China Morning Post – December 15, 2020)

President Joko Widodo’s personal invitation for Tesla chief executive Elon Musk to invest in Indonesia is the latest bid by Southeast Asia’s largest economy to become part of the global supply chain for the burgeoning electric-vehicle (EV) industry, which a 2018 European Commission report estimated could be worth up to US$66.7 billion annually.

On the Friday call, Widodo and Musk discussed the industry and the main components for EV batteries, the investment ministry said in a statement. The president also asked Musk to consider Indonesia as a potential launch site for SpaceX, his aerospace manufacturing and space transport venture.

Widodo’s call was another attempt by Jakarta to communicate with Musk after a delegation led by the president’s top envoy, coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment Luhut Pandjaitan, failed to meet him upon a visit to the United States last month. Continue Reading →

New Caledonia’s triple opportunity – by Nic Maclellan (Inside Story – December 10, 2020)

Front Page

The young people gathered early in Noumea, preparing for action. Soon they had blocked the main road along the waterfront in New Caledonia’s capital with barricades, burning tires and rocks.

Riot police moved in, firing rounds of tear gas and flash balls to disperse the demonstrators, and hours of running battles between Kanak activists and police began.

The clash on 7 December followed a month of roadblocks and demonstrations across the French Pacific dependency of New Caledonia. The protests were called by the “Usine du Sud = Usine Pays” collective, which unites customary chiefs, environment groups, trade unionists and members of the independence coalition Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste, or FLNKS. Continue Reading →

Corporate buyout threatens civil war in New Caledonia – by Hamish McDonald (Asia Times – December 8, 2020)


SYDNEY – As a long-running struggle between indigenous Kanaks seeking independence and well-off mostly white settlers wanting to stay with France nears its end-game in the South Pacific colony of New Caledonia, the ownership of its nickel industry has become a violent contest between the two camps.

This week, its capital Noumea – in pre-Covid times a languid tropical resort center where locals of all races played pétanque in its squares – was shrouded in black smoke from burning tires and cars as Kanak protestors set up barricades and police fired tear gas.

Dozens of protesters were arrested, and several police officers injured, Radio New Zealand reported. Continue Reading →

Not enough class 1 nickel in the pipeline – Sherritt CEO – by Amanda Stutt ( – December 3, 2020)

With the spotlight shining on nickel, Canadian miner Sherritt International’s (TSX:S) CEO David Pathe sees brighter days ahead.

Sherritt, which has significant assets in Cuba, has weathered storms ever since Pathe’s predecessor gambled on partnering with Havana’s communist government in the 1990s, and the miner was pushed to the brink during president Trump’s tenure, when early last year, the White House began ramping up sanctions on Cuba.

Nickel has been a tough business since the financial crisis, and Sherritt’s market value sunk to a record low C$29.8 million ($22.8 million) in March from its 2008 peak of C$4.8 billion, trading at a low of eight Canadian cents. Continue Reading →

Sherritt International CEO David Pathe stepping down after completing restructuring – by Andrew Willis (Globe and Mail – November 23, 2020)

Nickel miner Sherritt International Corp. is looking for a new CEO, and the ideal candidate must be willing to forgo ties to the United States for the foreseeable future.

Sherritt chief executive David Pathe announced on Monday that he will step down next year, and the Toronto-based company has began a search for his successor.

Mr. Pathe, 50, ran Sherritt for the past eight years, steering the company through a wrenching restructuring that concluded in August. The company is now seeing increasing demand for its metals from electric-vehicle battery makers. Continue Reading →

Biden easing up on Cuba would boost Sherritt, CEO says – by Stephen Wicary and Steven Frank (Bloomberg News – November 19, 2020)

Joe Biden’s victory in the U.S. presidential election marks a potential new chapter for one of Cuba’s biggest foreign investors.

Sherritt International Corp.’s top executive calls the result of the vote good news for his company, given the steady tightening of sanctions under President Donald Trump. Sherritt produces nickel and cobalt in Cuba for the global market, and has a growing energy business on the Caribbean island.

“We were prepared for whatever the outcome would be,” Chief Executive Officer David Pathe said in an interview this week. “Certainly seeing a Biden outcome was more positive for us over the next few years than a reelection of the Trump administration.” Continue Reading →

AUTOMOBILES: Indonesia aims to grab EV supply chain with CATL and Hyundai From mines to batteries and cars, country to shoot for ASEAN hub status – by ERWIDA MAULIA (Nikkei Asia – November 6, 2020)

JAKARTA — Indonesia is inching toward building an industry to supply nickel for batteries and electric vehicles. The government last month acquired a major stake in a nickel miner, following basic agreements with top South Korean and Chinese battery makers for domestic joint ventures totaling $12 billion.

It is also looking to eventually become a regional hub for manufacturing electric vehicles, starting with a future partnership with Hyundai Motors.

The chain begins with Indonesia’s nickel reserves, the world’s largest. Recently, state-owned holding company Mind Id, previously known as Inalum, acquired a 20% stake in nickel miner Vale Indonesia, the country’s largest nickel producer by output, for 5.52 trillion rupiah ($374 million). Continue Reading →

Global nickel production to decline by 7.4 percent in 2020 – by Scott Birch (Mining Global – October 19, 2020)

Global nickel production is expected to decline by 7.4 percent to 2,195 thousand tonnes (kt) in 2020, according to a GlobalData report.

The temporary suspensions of mines and mining activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the advancement of Indonesia’s export ban, are expected to be significant contributors towards this decline, the report adds.

Indonesia’s mine production is expected to fall to 680kt in 2020 – down by 15 percent compared to the 800kt registered in 2019. This is due to the advancement of the exports ban from 2022 to 2020, it says. Continue Reading →

State holding to be Indonesia’s battering ram into global battery market – by Norman Harsono (Jakarta Post Jakarta – October 16, 2020)

Indonesia has mobilized three of its biggest state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and opened talks with two foreign multinationals to bring Southeast Asia’s largest economy into the world’s highly lucrative electric vehicle (EV) battery market.

The SOEs Ministry has ordered mining holding MIND ID, oil and gas giant Pertamina and electricity monopoly PLN to establish a holding company – tentatively “PT Indonesia Battery Holding” – that will develop an end-to-end domestic supply chain for EV batteries.

The trio are also in talks with China’s CATL and South Korea’s LG Chem, the world’s top two EV battery makers by output, to invest between US$12 billion and $20 billion in developing the dream supply chain. Continue Reading →

Tesla eyes nickel-rich Indonesia for next factory, hints officials – by Maria Merano ( – October 18, 2020)


Local reports are hinting that Tesla might be laying down plans to build a dedicated battery factory in Indonesia. The update was related by Indonesian officials who pointed to ongoing talks with the electric car maker.

CNBC Indonesia reported that the Indonesian government and Tesla are negotiating the possible construction of a battery factory in Batang, Central Java. The location is currently being developed by the country into an expansive industrial area.

In a statement to the media on Monday, Minister of Industry (Menperin) Agus Gumiwang stated that discussions with Tesla are indeed underway for a potential battery factory in Batang. “On going discussion, arahnya ke sana Batang (the direction is Batang),” Gumiwang said. Continue Reading →