Nickel's back: Rising nickel prices are forecast to lead firms to increase production

Firms in the Nickel Ore Mining industry have faced difficult operating conditions over the past five years due to mine closures in response to major pricing falls in 2014-15 and 2015-16, and large production declines. However, as nickel prices recovered in subsequent years, particularly in Australian dollar terms, industry revenue grew in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Most of the nickel ore mined in Australia is processed locally into nickel concentrate by downstream smelting and refining firms, or by nickel ore mining companies that also operate their own smelters and refineries.Slowdowns in infrastructure projects and in the production of nickel-based stainless steel goods in China reduced both global and local demand for nickel over the past five more.

Industry Statistics & Market Size
Annual Growth 15-20
Forecast Growth 20-25

Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • A majority of nickel ore mined in Australia is processed locally into nickel concentrate
  • Industry profit margins have risen from a low base over the past five years
  • Industry revenue and volumes are projected to increase strongly over the next five years
  • Industry Report - Industry Key Buyers Chapter

    The Nickel Ore Mining industry is highly concentrated, with the four largest nickel mining companies expected to account for over 90% of industry revenue in 2019-20. The largest nickel ore miner, BHP Group, is expected to make up more than half of nickel ore mining revenue for the year, with Glencore making up more than one-quarter of industry revenue. Furthermore, industry concentration has been highly volatile over the past five years. Changes in concentration occurred due to major output changes, and various major mining and processing plant closures and re-openings as companies responded to volatile nickel prices...purchase to read more.

    Additional Insights for the Nickel Ore Mining Industry

    IBISWorld has determined the most important Key Success Factors for the Nickel Ore Mining are:

  • Availability of resource
  • Output is sold under contract - incorporate long-term sales contracts
  • Must comply with government regulations
  • IBISWorld analysts also discuss how external factors such as World price of nickel and Demand from gold and other non-ferrous metal processing in the Nickel Ore Mining industry impact industry performance..

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    What's in this report

    What is the Nickel Ore Mining Industry?

    Industry firms mine nickel-bearing ores. These firms may also carry out basic nickel ore beneficiation processes to produce nickel ore concentrate, which is an industry product. Nickel ore that undergoes additional processing is excluded from the industry and included in other downstream manufacturing sectors.

    Industry Products
  • High-grade nickel ore
  • Medium-grade nickel ore
  • Low-grade nickel ore
  • Nickel ore concentrate
  • Industry Activities
  • Nickel ore mining
  • Nickel ore beneficiation processes
  • Table of Contents

    Industry Definition
    Main Activities
    Similar Industries
    Additional Resources
    Industry Statistics Snapshot
    Industry Structure
    Executive Summary
    Executive Summary
    Key External Drivers
  • World price of nickel
  • Demand from gold and other non-ferrous metal processing
  • US dollars per Australian dollar
  • World price of steel

  • Current Performance
  • Industry structure
  • Lower local prices
  • Mixed growth
  • Chart: Revenue Growth

  • Industry Outlook
  • A growing appetite
  • Output recovers
  • Price gains
  • Table: Nickel Ore Mining Industry Revenue Outlook

  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Life cycle reasons
  • Chart: Benchmarking - Nickel Ore Mining Industry Lifecycle vs The Economy

  • Supply Chains
    Key Buying Industries
  • Gold and Other Non-Ferrous Metal Processing
  • Metal Coating and Finishing

  • Key Selling Industries
  • Contract Mining Services
  • Mineral Exploration
  • Mining and Industrial Machinery Wholesaling
  • Petroleum Product Wholesaling

  • Products & Services
  • High-grade nickel ore
  • Nickel ore concentrate
  • Medium-grade nickel ore
  • Low-grade nickel ore
  • Chart: Nickel Ore Mining Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
    Major Markets
  • Domestic nickel processors
  • Export markets
  • Other domestic metal processors
  • Chart: Major Market Segmentation for the Nickel Ore Mining Industry

  • International Trade
    Business Locations
    Chart: Business Locations by State
    Market Share Concentration
    Key Success Factors
    Cost Structure Benchmarks
  • Chart: Cost Structure Benchmarking – Sector vs Nickel Ore Mining

  • Basis of Competition
  • Internal competition
  • External competition

  • Barriers to Entry
  • Table: Barrier to Entry Checklist for the Nickel Ore Mining Industry

  • Industry Globalization
    BHP Group Limited, Glencore Holdings Pty Limited, Western Areas Limited,
  • Table: BHP Group Limited - financial performance
  • Table: Glencore Holdings Pty Limited - financial performance
  • Table: Western Areas Limited - financial performance

  • Capital Intensity
  • Chart: Level of Capital Intensity for the Nickel Ore Mining Industry
  • Chart: Tools of the Trade: Growth Strategies for Success

  • Technology & Systems
    Revenue Volatility
  • Chart: Volatility vs Industry Growth

  • Regulation & Policy
    Industry Assistance
    Table: Industry Data for the Nickel Ore Mining Industry
  • Industry Revenue (2011-2025)
  • Industry Gross Product (2011-2025)
  • Establishments (2011-2025)
  • Businesses (2011-2025)
  • Employment (2011-2025)
  • Exports (2011-2025)
  • Wages (2011-2025)
  • Wages (2011-2025)
  • Purchases (2011-2025)
  • Nickel Content Mined (2011-2025)
  • Profit (2011-2025)
  • Depreciation (2011-2025)
  • Rent (2011-2025)
  • Utilities (2011-2025)
  • Other (2011-2025)

  • Table: Annual Percentage Change for Key Industry Data
    Table: Key Ratios for Industry Key Data
  • A basic process that improves the ore content prior to additional refining and smelting processes.
  • Concentrate
  • A fine, powder-like product containing the valuable ore mineral from which some of the waste mineral has been eliminated.
  • Lateritic Nickel Ore
  • A low-grade nickel ore that is found near the Earth's surface and is mined through open pit mining methods.
  • Nickel Pig Iron
  • A lower priced and lower quality nickel product made by Chinese producers that is more expensive to produce due to the low nickel grade.
  • Solvent Extraction
  • A process to recover nickel by using sulphuric acid to dissolve metal from ore, and then processing the solution to recover both the metal and the acid (which can be re-used).
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    Why buy this report?

    IBISWorld’s Nickel Ore Mining market research report is a comprehensive guide to market size and growth prospects. Our industry reports offer strategic industry analysis of the factors influencing companies, including new product developments, economic, lifestyle and demographic influences, distribution and supply chain factors and pricing issues. Full analysis accompanies our data forecasts to illustrate how the market responds to emerging industry trends.

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    This report on Nickel Ore Mining:
    • Provides Market Size information to assist with planning and strategic decisions.
    • Includes the necessary information to perform SWOT, PEST and STEER analysis.
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    • Analyses key performance and operational metrics so that you can benchmark against your own business, that of your customers’ businesses, or your competitors’ businesses.
    The Nickel Ore Mining market research report includes:
    • Historical data and analysis for the key drivers of this industry
    • A five-year forecast of the market and noted trends
    • Detailed research and segmentation for the main products and markets
    • An assessment of the competitive landscape and market shares for major companies
    • And of course, much more

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