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ArticleName Influence of new projects on world nickel market conjuncture
ArticleAuthor Korneev S. I.

“Non-ferrous metals” Journal, Moscow, Russia

S. I. Korneev, Expert, e-mail:


Total capacity of new large mining-and-metallurgical integrated projects (Voisey’s Bay-Long Harbour (Canada), Vale New Caledonia and Koniambo (New Caledonia), Onca Puma and Barro Alto (Brazil), Tiguang Nickel Ore Project (Myanmar), Ambatovy (Madagascar)) is near 350.0 th. t of primary nickel. In spite of peculiar risks, attainment of production capacity of these projects is the determinant factor of formation of fundamental aspects of modern world nickel market in mediumterm prospect, together with growing manufacturing of nickelbearing products in China. Nickel output on the foregoing new projects can reach 312.0 th. t by 2016. China’s import of laterite ores (basically from Indonesia and Philippines) for manufacturing of nickel-bearing products (low-grade/highgrade nickel-bearing pig iron, ferronickel) has changed from 1.0 mln. t in 2005 to 62.5 mln. t in 2012 (near 450.0 th. t of primary nickel). Constant improvement of the production process — RKEF technology — is carried out by manufacturers of nickel-bearing products in China. The distinguishing feature of manufacturing of nickel-bearing products in China is rather high level of integration with local manufacturers of stainless and special steels, which essentially intensifies the competition between foreign nickel manufacturers in this sector on Chinese market. Nowadays, dynamically developing manufacturing of nickel-bearing products is focused on Chinese domestic market. Nevertheless, this manufacturing makes a significant influence on formation of the global cost of manufacturing of world nickel industry and, and as consequence, on LME quotations. Unexampled potential of increase of nickel manufacturing in medium-term prospect (till 2016) makes the world market balance steady surplus. Carrying out of closely control of production costs and finding the ways of their decreasing (due to improvement of technological process, corporate synergy and M&A) are realized by nickel manufacturers under the direction of the current low level of LME quotations, crucial dependence of the world nickel market from the state of affairs in China, upcoming new nickel projects and increasing LME stocks.

keywords Nickel projects, nickel-bearing pig iron, Voisey’s Bay-Long Harbour, Vale New Caledonia, Onca Puma, Koniambo, Barro Alto, Tiguang Nickel Ore Project, Ambatovy, RKEF technology

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