The nickel industry is optimistic of this year’s prospects due to rising demand from foreign markets driven by infrastructure, electric vehicle (EV) and home appliance equipment manufacturing.
This is despite a14-percent decline in production in 2020 brought about by the enhanced community quarantine between March and May 2020 where movement of mineral products were limited throughout the country.
.The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said nickel production stood at 18.5 million dry metric tons (DMT) in 2020 from 21.6 million DMT in 2019
But as of the third quarter in 2020, export value was slightly higher at P25 billion from P24 billion in the same period in 2019.
Dante Bravo, president of the Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) attributed this to the increase in prices of nickel in the market due to a steady demand in China.
PNIA members accounted for almost half of total nickel production at 7.9 million DMT with an export value amount of P11.6 billion in 2020 from 9.6 million DMT and an export value of P10.6 billion the previous year.
“We are hopeful there will be a continuous demand for the year so that we can also keep our performance and help our local communities by providing them jobs that they can keep. The mining industry has kept to employ 190,000 people in the entire country and this is very important especially that the government is trying to implement economic recovery efforts from the impact of the pandemic,” Bravo said.