Despite being the second largest nickel producer in the world, the Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) doubted the country’s capacity to sustain nickel ore supply because of uncertain policies imposed by the government.
“That’s exciting for the Philippine nickel industry, but we cannot definitely supply the gap being left by the Indonesian ore ban,” PNIA President Dante Bravo was quoted saying in a report during the Mining Philippines 2019 International Conference.
“[As] soon as the plans in Indonesia get operational, if they say it’s going to be operational by 2022, then we’re looking for basically three years for better prices for our ore. We hope by then we have the EO (Executive Order) 79 already lifted so that we can also begin processing the mineral agreement and encourage investors to come in. Hopefully, follow the Indonesian model,” Bravo said in the report.
Fitch Solutions stated in their recent industry report that nickel smelters in China “will likely look to the Philippines as an alternative source of supply due to its proximity and substantial nickel mining capacity.”
The significant increase in nickel ore demand could accelerate not only nickel mine development but also increased production by next year.