Low prices affecting PH miners


Amid the low prices of nickel ore in the global market, several nickel miners in the Philippines have shut down while others are significantly cutting back on production, an industry official claimed

The scenario will likely continue in 2016, said Joseph C. Sy, a director of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce Inc. and chairman of Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc.

He did not identify the affected Philippine miners.

Since an Indonesian export ban in January 2014, the Philippines has supplied more than 90 percent of the nickel ore imports to China. Over 50 percent of the shipments comprise low grade ore.

“However, compared to last year, importations by China of low grade ores have dropped significantly this year . . . ,” Sy said.

The mining executive noted there was a tight supply of medium grade ore this year because of low prices.

If the nickel price continues to hover below $10,000 per ton at the London Metals Exchange, Sy predicted that the price of medium grade ore would likely fall below $20 per wet metric ton.


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