Over the course of the last few weeks, we reviewed Nickel and its co-products Cobalt, Palladium, Rhodium and Scandium as part of our trip “Through the Gateway.”
We’ve established that the importance of each of the co-products is growing as the revolution in materials science advances. Meanwhile, our import dependence for each of the co-products is significant, and ranges from 58 percent for Palladium to 100 percent for Scandium.
For Nickel, the U.S. domestic supply picture has recently changed, with our import dependence dropping from roughly 50 percent to currently 37 percent with new projects having come online.
Here, too, new uses may increase demand going forward. We already touched on Nickel’s alloying capabilities, which underscore its versatility and staying power. However, it is its application in battery technology that may become a game changer for the metal’s supply and demand going forward.
In light of across-the-board predictions of higher battery use over the course of the next few years, and in particular in the consumer and electric vehicle segments, analysts see demand for its component metals – including Nickel – soaring.
The bottom line – Gateway Metals not only provide us with access to many co-product metals that underpin modern technology. They are also important building blocks of the 21st Century. With our domestic manufacturers increasingly relying on a stable supply of Gateway Metals and their co-products, the time to devise a comprehensive mineral resource policy framework is now.