Speaker: Dr. Simon Jowitt

– January 19, 2024 – 1pm MT


The MMSA QP Enhancement Committee offers a series of webinars about a wide range of topics designed for the professionals working for mining companies and those involved in the preparation of studies and disclosure documents. The Webinars are also of interest to the legal, financial, management and academic sectors of the industry. The Webinars qualify for Continuing Professional Development credits for MMSA QPs.


How much nickel is consumed today? Where is it used and where does it come from? Looking ahead, what are the expected future uses of nickel and is there enough supply to meet demand?

The importance of Nickel to modern life and society and is crucial for the production of stainless steel, specialty alloys, electroplating, battery production, and other uses. The importance of nickel to modern standards of living is demonstrated by the fact that per capita consumption of nickel was 8.8 times higher in 2018 than was the case in 1956 and is higher now; in other words, every human on Earth uses ~10 times more nickel in 2023 than they did ~60 years ago. This increase is larger than the case for other infrastructure metals like copper, indicating the continuing and increasing importance of nickel for modern standards of living and the energy transition. Global nickel demand is also accelerating beyond these underlying trends as the world transitions to a low- to zero-CO2 and carbon neutral energy and transport future that necessarily involves the greater use of batteries for energy storage associated with renewable energy systems. This means that understanding the current nickel market and current and likely future sources of this metal are key to enabling the energy transition and associated climate change mitigation. This presentation will provide an overview of current and likely sources of nickel, present reserves and resources, likely changes in supply and demand, and energy transition-related challenges and opportunities for the nickel sector.

BioSimon Jowitt is currently the tenured Director of the Ralph J. Roberts Center for Research in Economic Geology and the Arthur Brant Chair of Exploration Geology at the University of Nevada Reno, Nevada, USA. He has a BSc (Hons) degree in Geology from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc in Mining Geology from the Camborne School of Mines, and a PhD from the University of Leicester, all in the UK. Simon spent eight years at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia before moving to spend seven years as an Assistant and then tenured Associate Professor of Economic Geology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His research focuses on the use of geochemistry to unravel geological processes in a variety of settings with direct application to understanding not only mineralizing systems but also igneous petrology, mineral exploration, global tectonics and the links between magmatism and metallogeny. He has also undertaken extensive research on mineral economics, global metal resources and the security of supply of the critical elements, and the “economic” side of economic geology, as demonstrated by a number of recent publications on global base, precious, and critical metal and mineral resources and the impact of the energy transition and COVID-19 on the global minerals industry. Simon also studies the environmental impact of mining and the potential uses of mining and other wastes for metal production and CO2 sequestration. He has published more than 110 scientific papers and peer-reviewed book chapters since 2010, is currently the Vice-President for Student Affairs for the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) and was awarded the SEG’s Waldemar Lindgren Award in 2014.