The conflict between Ukraine and Russia It has impacted the prices of raw materials such as corn, wheat and oil, among others, in international markets. But in the midst of this panorama, it has favored the price of nickelwhich translates into profits for producing countries such as the Dominican Republic.
More than a year ago, the price of nickel it was around four dollars a pound and before the war it was between 10 and 11.50 dollars.
According to official data, Russia supplies about 10% of the nickel Worldwide. This mineral is used to make the batteries of the electric vehicles, among others. Yesterday, the price of nickel closed at 37,234 dollars per ton.
For the director of MiningRolando Muñoz, the exponential increase in nickel It is a product of the fact that it is one of the transition minerals, this means that they are the minerals used for the construction, in the age of technology, of many electronic equipment, but especially of the batteries of electric vehicles.
“Another important factor that has created another exponential growth in prices has been the price war. Ukraine and Russia“, I observe. “Russia is a great producer nickel and a large exporter of nickel To the whole world. Similarly, Ukraine uses and produces a lot nickel and, by doing so, stop production due to the war process that they carry out, and Russia prohibited export as a strategy, obviously, the prices of the nickel They shot up.”
Munoz explained to Free Journal that the behavior recorded by the price of nickel by the armed conflict will have a positive impact on the Dominican Republic because the lines of operations of the company Falconbridge Dominicana (Falcondo) in the Monseñor Nouel and La Vega provinces are full time producing nickel.
“It benefits us because in principle we are going to have a considerable increase between 20 and 25 percent in the employment that the mining company uses. That is the first step. The second important step is that we are going to go from exporting 384 million dollars, which was in 2021, and this year we plan to make exports for more than 500 million dollars. That will help the trade balance of the Dominican Republic”Director of Mining at the Ministry of Energy and Mines
He also said that the other impact that the country will have is through the contract with Falconbridge that, with higher production, higher sales, higher profits and “there will be higher dividends for the treasury in the Dominican Republic.”
He stressed that Falconbridge is one of the “most efficient” factories in the region. “We have regular meetings with the Falconbridge executives and we are demanding that they export a little more,” she said.
When interviewed by Free JournalMuñoz added that there is another important value that is implicit in this panorama and that is that in the mining Not all deposits are homogeneous.
“Easily you go up a mountain and side A, B, or C has 2.5 percent of nickel and side B can have 1.4. So, in that 1.4, if you take it to the benefit plant, it does not give you profitability with depressed prices, but when prices increase, those deposits, which are of low grade, become real reserves and can be incorporated into the production process”, he analyzed.
He explained that the aforementioned gives, first, more economic benefits, but also lengthens the life of the mine.
He specified that, if the situation between Russia and Ukrainethe nickel prices will continue to increase due to the great demand, as it is a transition mineral. Understand that it is a mineral that is going to be in demand to build the fields of electric vehicles.
“The nickel, lithium and copper are the main elements for the construction of batteries and also technology (cell phones, computers, tablets…). All of these elements are vital and demanding,” he expressed.
According to the official, an alloy of steel and nickelthat’s why ferronickel, but what is calculated is that, when a material is dispatched, it has a content of 33% of nickel and 67% iron.
Starting from this point, the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic (ProDominicana) publishes on its website that the Dominican Republic exported 440.55 million dollars during 2021, and between January and February 2022 it has exported 92.72 million dollars.