THE nickel industry is expected to have a good year in 2021 as international demand would increase amid the 2019 Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19).

Dante R. Bravo, President of the Philippine Nickel Industry Association, said the company was sure that the market from both the infrastructure, home appliance and electrical vehicles industries will continue to increase the use of nickel.

“The mining industry employs 190 000 people throughout the world, and this is very necessary especially because the Philippine government is attempting to achieve economic recovery from the pandemic,” he said in a Thursday statement.

The industry association cited Mines and Geosciences Bureau data that, as a result of stringent quarantine measures between March and May, in 2020, the nickel sector developed 18,5 million dry metric tons, down by 14 percent, compared to the 21,6 million DMT created earlier in year.

Despite the lower production, the group announced that during the January-September era the export value of nickel industry improved to nearly P25 billion, up from P24 billion in 2019.

Mr. Bravo said the improved export value was attributed to higher world nickel prices due to steady Chinese demand.

He reported that in 2020 association members contributed nearly 50% of the total Nickel output in the region, generating a total of 7.9 million DMT based on the office’s results, with export value of P11,6 billion.

“The company is happy that during the pandemic we were successful and that in these tough days we could add to the economy. We all realize so several firms have closed in 2020 and others close this year,” said Mr. Bravo.

Mr. Bravo has meanwhile claimed that the group’s representatives in Palawan, Zambales and Caraga invested 166.8 million on the social-development management scheme. The mining industry delivers resources to local people, including livelihoods and schooling.

He further added that the COVID 19 initiatives to provide food, safety supplies, medications and medical services for the city and surrounding local government units in 2020 had been allocated P49 million by member corporations.

“Some efforts involved constructing insulated and research buildings, arranging for ambulances, transportation, delivering thermal scanners and additional equipment to local hospitals as well as providing local health workers and border agencies with food packaging, facemasks and hygiene kits,,” Mr Bravo said.

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