Nickel prices continue to plummet, layoff of mine workers feared

Global market declares drops on the prices of nickel ores that may trigger nickel mining companies in the Philippines to eventually lay off or worst terminate thousands of mine workers due to possible operation suspension or shutdown.

With its unstable price, mining companies will find it hard to sustain the operation with a less return they are getting.

Contributing also to the possible effect is Indonesia’s surprising announcement in abruptly lifting the 3-year ban on nickel ore exports. Philippines may lose the China market which will most likely to choose to import nickel ores in Indonesia considering the near location, high grades and high supply.

It can be recalled that Indonesia’s restrictions on ore exports have also played a role in pushing prices up, as it is also a major producer of nickel ores.

Philippines has a total of 42 mining companies engaged into the operation of different mineral ores.

At least 25 are operating nickel mines in Caraga Region as the main capital of nickel mining in the country that may be affected by the said ore price dropping.

SR Metals, Inc. (SRMI), a presidential mining awardee, currently engaged in nickel ore mining based in Tubay, Agusan del Norte assures its workers for economic practicability through livelihood intervention and skills trainings once operation suspends or shuts down.

According to BMI Research, a market researcher, nickel price will continue to fall due to increased supply from Indonesia, subdued demand from China and fading overly-optimistic demand expectations from electric vehicle production.

“We have kept our nickel price forecast at $10,000/tonne for 2018 and expect prices to head lower over our forecast period from 2017-2021 as the global market surplus widens”, the firms says as published in Mining.com article today.

SRMI started its small-scale mine operation in 2006 and upgraded to large-scale operation in 2008 up to present with a 1739 employees of which more than 60% come from the municipality.

SRMI is continuously implementing community development projects and it has already its schedules of implementation of the programs/projects/activities such as medical and dental outreach, educational programs, and livelihood projects among others. By JD

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