Global Nickel Matte Market Research Report 2023-Competitive Analysis, Status and Outlook by Type, Downstream Industry, and Geography, Forecast to 2029
Nickel matte is an intermediate product based on nickel concentrate. Nickel matte is used for producing electrolytic nickel, ferronickel, nickel alloy and various nickel salts, and is the downstream product of laterite nickel ore and nickel sulfide ore.Market Overview:
The latest research study on the global Nickel Matte market finds that the global Nickel Matte market reached a value of USD 4960.84 million in 2022. It’s expected that the market will achieve USD 7710.33 million by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.63% during the forecast period.
Russia and Ukraine War and Covid-related lockdowns
It has been an extraordinarily volatile year for the nickel matte market, including some big price swings that were not tied to traditional supply-demand dynamics but rather the uncertainty of what impact such factors as the war in Ukraine and Covid-related lockdowns will have upon the global economy-and therefore demand for nickel and other base metals. With Russia being the world third largest producer of nickel, the war in Ukraine and associated international sanctions kept global supply and inventories tight. At the beginning of 2022, the economies of most countries in the world were rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic and grappling with the additional issues of energy problems, logistics bottlenecks, and rising inflation. These factors were having a notable impact on both metal production and usage. The conflict in Ukraine, followed by economic sanctions on Russia, further increased energy problems, especially in Europe, pushed inflation even higher, and added uncertainty. In China, COVID outbreaks in some areas led the government to impose lockdowns. Consequently, recent forecasts for world growth were revised down.
A growing number of companies began to build high-grade nickel matte projects
In the short term, the cost efficiency of high-grade nickel matte projects may be lower than expected. However, with the expansion of NPI (nickel pig iron) production in Indonesia and the innovation of high-grade nickel matte processes, more and more companies have invested in high-grade nickel matte projects. More projects may be announced in the future. Some of the new projects are through the conversion of NPI, while some will adopt new processes. As Indonesia may raise its threshold for the investment and construction of power plants in the future, the new technology may be adopted by many other new projects.
Market demand from the steel industry
Nickel matte is used in the production of electrolytic nickel, nickel oxide, nickel-iron, nickel-containing alloys, and various nickel salts. It can also be directly used in steelmaking with special treatment. As an alloying element additive in the steelmaking industry, it can improve the flexural strength and hardness of steel. In cast iron, it can make its structure uniform and increase its density. Modest brownfield and some greenfield mine and processing - expansions have been undertaken on the fundamental strength in demand for stainless steel. For all the excitement surrounding EV batteries, stainless steel remains far and away the primary market for nickel matte. All the major end-use markets for steel are strong, from construction to automotive and industrial, to appliances and flatware.
Limitation of nickel-based batteries
Some companies are looking to engineer out the cobalt that they use in the batteries for environmental, social and governance (ESG) reasons. Because of all these potential issues, it is possible that nickel-based batteries will only be used in high-end, luxury EVs, or in those that will likely be driven longer distances and therefore require the longer range between charges that nickel-cobalt batteries have to offer over other types of battery. Meanwhile, lower-end, more basic EVs used for shorter journeys could use lithium-ion phosphate batteries, which do not contain nickel.Region Overview:
In global comparison, a significant portion of the revenue was generated in Asia Pacific (79.91% in 2022).Company Overview:
Nickel West is one of the major players operating in the Nickel Matte market, holding a share of 24.94% in 2022.
Nickel West is a fully integrated mine-to-market business of BHP operating in various locations across Western Australia. Nickel West is the world leading nickel supplier to the battery metals market. All nickel operations (open-cut and underground mines, concentrators, a smelter and refinery) are located in Western Australia. The integrated business adds value throughout nickel supply chain, with the majority of Nickel West current production sold as powder and briquettes.
Established in July 1968, PT Vale is a company with a license from the Government of Indonesia to explore, mine, process and produce nickel. Vale Indonesia is a mining company with integrated nickel processing facility located in Sorowako Block, East Luwu Regency, South Sulawesi Province. Vale Indonesia operates with global standards and are fully committed to sustainable mining practices.Segmentation Overview:
As for product types, the Flotation Process segment held the largest market share in 2022.
Layered Smelting is the process of melting high nickel matte and sodium sulfide, and copper sulfide is easily dissolved in sodium sulfide. Therefore, when high nickel matte and sodium sulfide are mixed and melted, most of the copper sulfide goes into sodium sulfide and floats on the top layer because of its low density, while nickel sulfide stays on the bottom layer because of its high density. When the temperature drops to the solidification temperature, the two are separated more thoroughly, and the solidified top layer and bottom layer are easily separated. In order to separate the copper sulfide and nickel sulfide better, the top layer and the bottom layer can be smelted separately, and the layered copper sulfide and nickel sulfide can be continuously obtained until the process requirements are met.
Leaching is a nickel matte treatment method in which nickel in the nickel stream is selectively drilled into the solution with leaching agent to be extracted. In the leaching process, copper, iron and precious metals remain in the leaching residue and are separated from nickel and cobalt. According to the leaching agent used, it can be divided into sulfuric acid selective leaching, chlorination leaching and ammonia solution leaching.
Carbonyl method is a refining method based on the principle of chemical transfer reaction. The process of extracting or refining nickel takes advantage of the characteristic that carbon monoxide gas reacts with active nickel atoms to generate gaseous nickel carbonyl, which is easy to decompose metal.
Flotation Process is based on the slow cooling of high-nickel matte, because the mutual solubility of CuS, Ni3S2 and others decreases, and correspondingly separates out and grows into coarse particles, so as to achieve the purpose of mineral separation. The disadvantages of this process are low production efficiency, high sulfur content of flue gas discharged into the atmosphere, large power consumption and large loss of valuable metals.Application Overview:
The market's largest segment by application is the segment Steel Industry, with a market share of 41.77% in 2022.
The steel sector is the primary market for nickel matte. Nickel matte is used in the production of electrolytic nickel, nickel oxide, nickel-iron, nickel-containing alloys, and various nickel salts. It can also be directly used in steelmaking with special treatment. As an alloying element additive in the steelmaking industry, it can improve the flexural strength and hardness of steel. In cast iron, it can make its structure uniform and increase its density.
Nickel matte can be used as raw material for the production of battery-grade nickel sulfate, which in turn can be used to produce ternary lithium batteries required for new energy vehicles. The growing electrification of vehicles will surely result in higher demand for nickel matte in order to produce the required number of lithium batteries and it is likely that the proportion of the market accounted for by this sector will increase significantly over the coming years.Key Companies in the global Nickel Matte market covered in Chapter 3:
Xinjiang Xinxin Mining Industry
Jilin Jien Nickel Industry
Tsingshan GroupIn Chapter 4 and Chapter 14.2, on the basis of types, the Nickel Matte market from 2018 to 2029 is primarily split into:
Flotation ProcessIn Chapter 5 and Chapter 14.3, on the basis of Downstream Industry, the Nickel Matte market from 2018 to 2029 covers:
Battery IndustryGeographically, the detailed analysis of consumption, revenue, market share and growth rate, historic and forecast (2018-2029) of the following regions are covered in Chapter 8 to Chapter 14:
North America (United States, Canada)
Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Netherlands, Turkey, Switzerland, Sweden)
Asia Pacific (China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia)
Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina)
Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, South Africa)