At over $20 billion dollars a year, nickel is already one of the world’s most important metal markets. However, with the rise in demand for electric vehicles, nickel is potentially on the cusp of a fundamental supply shift where quality over quantity comes crashing to the fore.
That’s because not all nickel is created equal.
Approximately 62.4 percent of today’s nickel supply is nickel laterites, which produce products such as nickel pig iron and ferronickel. While abundant, these low-grade metals are inadequate for battery manufacture. Instead, the growing demand for EV battery components must be met by higher-grade––but much rarer––nickel sulphides, which produce such products as nickel metal and nickel sulphate.