INTL STAINLESS STEEL CONF: Philippines less attractive for nickel ore investment than Indonesia – delegates

Chinese nickel consumers may be deterred from guaranteeing long-term ore supply by investing in Philippine ore production, delegates said during a panel discussion at the 18th International Stainless and Special Steel Summit in Seville, Spain, on Wednesday September 18.

This is despite prevailing opinion that Philippine material is more easily refined and cost effective than Chinese nickel pig iron (NPI) and that the Philippines, like Indonesia, has existing high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) facilities which could be ramped up to plug the supply gap left by Indonesia. Chinese stainless steel producers such as Tsingshan had been betting on Indonesia’s HPAL infrastructure to produce profitable nickel-containing ore supplies to guarantee long-term supply for stainless steel production, estimated to grow by 11% over 2019 alone. But while HPAL processing is considered to be the most financially attractive method of processing ore, it is thought that the quality of Philippine lower-grade ore cannot compete with that of Indonesia, turning inventors away despite the estimated 270,000-300,000 tonnes of supply due to be removed...


Amy Hinton

September 20, 2019

09:55 GMT