INTERVIEW: Vietnam best bet for nickel production after Indonesia ore ban – Blackstone CEO

Australian multi-metal miner Blackstone Minerals considers Vietnam a reliable and equitable jurisdiction for nickel production and export once the Indonesian ore export ban comes into effect in January 2020, chief executive officer Scott Williamson told Fastmarkets last week.

With estimated refined production capacity of 10,000 tonnes per year, the company plans to develop its newly-acquired Vietnamese Ta Khoa nickel project to export nickel sulfide, a preferential battery-grade material, to the South Korean battery market, circumventing tariffs applicable to nickel ore exports, Williamson said on Monday September 2. The International Nickel Study Group (INSG) estimated the total refined nickel deficit for the first half of 2019 at a decreased 45,100 tonnes. But while this remains lower than the 85,200-tonne deficit in the corresponding period of 2018, the market speculates that this will widen again once Indonesia’s ban is implemented. And while the nickel market remains mired in speculation on global supply from 2020 onward, Blackstone is confident Ta Khoa will be ahead of the curve in guaranteeing supply to the South Korean market. Williamson’s production estimate of 10,000 tonnes per year of refined nickel for Ta Khoa can in...

Published

Amy Hinton

September 11, 2019

14:44 GMT

London