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Nickel in Latin America: Time to Pick Up the Pace

Nickel in Latin America: Time to Pick Up the Pace

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While global nickel mine production grew 88% in 2009-13, Latin America failed to keep pace, expanding just 24% and registering a declining share of world output. The region remains way off its potential as a provider of mined nickel, despite investments in new capacity. BNamericas calculates that Latin America's 2014 output of around 184,000t of nickel is only one-half of what it could be producing considering only existing plants. Technical difficulties, political hurdles, low nickel prices and generally weak mining industry sentiment have led to shutdowns and slow decision-making regarding ramping up production, despite positive longer-term outlook for nickel demand. Now, nickel is set for resurgence, with the market expected to enter deficit in 2015 and prices due to rise over the next three years. Now is the time for miners in Latin America to ramp up idle capacity and capture the coming gains.

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