25/05/1999 - 22:00

WA threatens world nickel leaders

25/05/1999 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The stunning growth of WA’s nickel industry over the past two years has more than surprised even the most optimistic industry observers. The state now has the capacity to become the world’s biggest producer by 2003.

WA threatens world nickel leaders
The stunning growth of WA’s nickel industry over the past two years has more than surprised even the most optimistic industry observers. The state now has the capacity to become the world’s biggest producer by 2003.

The Department of Resource Development project manager north and inland division Greg Dellar said the future of the WA nickel industry looked very positive.

Last year 143,000 tonnes of nickel were produced worth more than $1 billion (US$630 million), an increase in production of 16 per cent on the previous year and up from 53,000 tonnes only five years ago.

Mr Dellar estimated that, within two years from now, the state’s annual nickel capacity would grow to around 200,000 tonnes.

This will be driven by a crop of projects beginning nickel laterite mining and processing at Murrin Murrin, Bu-long and Cawse, with others to follow.

New projects at Ravensthorpe (near Esperance), Cosmos, Yakabindie, Honeymoon Well, Kalpini and Pinnacles in the Goldfields region, and a high level of prospectivity in the Lake Johnston area west of Norseman, offer many opportunities for WA to continue to increase its share of the world nickel market – currently around 13 per cent.

The department’s WA Nickel Review 1999 says, despite a weakness in nickel prices over the past year, the outlook for nickel demand remains positive.

“The advantages of stainless steel are such that growth will continue,” the review says. “As a result, prices for primary nickel are expected to increase.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options