Nickel has been a mainstay contributor to the Western Australian economy since the 1970s but, perhaps more than some other commodities we are familiar with in this State, it has been subject to quite severe swings in demand (and price).
While the industrial applications and use in stainless steel continues to underpin global nickel demand, it is the burgeoning battery manufacturing sector that has shone the spotlight back on historic and emerging nickel production hubs for investors.
And, of course, you can’t have a conversation about nickel in Australia without focusing on the Goldfields satellite town of Kambalda, where the schools and shops literally empty and refill in direct correlation to the fortunes of the blue metal.
Paydirt’s Australian Nickel Conference program and atmosphere have also closely reflected the stage of the cycle for the sector over its near-two decades of operation.
Regardless of whether it was talk of production records, exploration success, shutdowns, rebirths or consolidation, the Australian Nickel Conference remained a strong voice and advocacy platform for this important industry for Western Australia.
2022 is a good time to be in nickel as demand for the metal in most mainstream lithium-ion battery recipes drives a new wave of investment in both exploration and production assets, old and new.
Leaders from all corners of the Western Australian nickel industry will gather in Perth this week for the latest edition of Australia’s only dedicated nickel event to be held at the Pan Pacific Hotel across Wednesday and Thursday, 5-6 October.
The conference will be officially opened by Hon Bill Johnston MLA, Minister for Mines and Petroleum, who has remained closely engaged with the sector for the past decade, both in opposition and government.
Minister Johnston will be followed by some global market commentary in the opening session and then a keynote address from BHP Nickel West’s Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter general manager Matthew Terry for an update on one of the State’s most critical nickel assets.