Canadian mining companies North American Nickel Inc. (NAN) and
Royal Nickel Corp. said they expect Chinese nickel demand to
double by the end of the decade, fueling nickel prices and
increasing the viability of their projects in Greenland and
Quebec, the companies told investors during presentations Oct.
Nickel and Royal Nickel forecast a 1-million-tonne growth
in annual Chinese nickel demand between 2010 and 2020a
projected 1.6 million tonnes a year by 2020, up from 581,000
tonnes in 2010, according to Royal Nickel.
The companies said
they anticipate a nickel supply deficit in the second half of
the decade due to such demand, which will benefit NANs
Maniitsoq project in Greenland and Royal Nickels Dumont
project in Quebec.
"The fundamental issue
facing the nickel industry by 2015-2016 is an almost bare
project cupboard with few projects poised to come
onstream at that time," Toronto-based Royal Nickel said in its
British Columbia-based NAN said "only a doubling of NPI (nickel
pig iron) output could balance" demand facing the market in the
Any supply deficit would likely be fueled by the effective
implementation of Indonesias ore export ban, which is
scheduled to take effect in 2014.