Webinar Details (Archive)

Nickel - Devil's Metal in Demand

Thursday, November 16, 2023
3:00pm - 4:30pm MST (UTC-7)

This free webinar will consist of 60 minutes of mini-lectures followed by 30 minutes of panel discussion and audience Q&A. The webinar is free and open to public registration, pre-registration with Zoom required.

Series Sponsor

Thank you to Maptek for sponsoring the SEG 2023 Base Metals Webinar Series.

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Nickel – Devil's Metal in Demand

The third installment in the SEG 2023 Base Metals Webinar Series will provide geoscientists with an open forum for interaction with prominent industry and academic experts as they discuss the significance of nickel exploration and the increasingly critical role that it plays during the energy transition. While many analysts are forecasting a surplus of nickel supply over the short term, demand for the commodity will likely outpace supply by the end of the 2020s, eventually creating a supply and demand gap that will lead to a deficit in the metal. Given these interests, there's a need for the next generation of geologists to better understand the full scope of the metal's value chain and exploration potential.

This webinar of focused mini-lectures will allow experts to share their knowledge on a variety of relevant themes, such as investigating nickel with regards to the latest regional and global market trends, modern exploration highlights and frontiers, and significant advances coming from within academia. Following the lectures, a panel discussion will offer conversations on a wide range of key concepts and allow the panelists to bring their unique perspectives to the table.

Mini-Lecture Abstracts

"Global nickel resources, reserves, supply and demand; implications for the future of the nickel sector and the byproduct potential of nickel supply chains"

Simon Jowitt, University of Nevada, Reno

Nickel is fundamentally important 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.

"Nickel discovery histories and future trends"

Rebecca Sproule, Rio Tinto

This lecture will include a review of discovery trends for nickel sulfide deposits and present the specific discovery histories of select NiS discoveries over the previous 15 years. Future exploration techniques and trends will also be discussed.

"Advances in research on magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits and applications to exploration"

C. Michael Lesher, Harquail School of Earth Sciences

Ni-Cu-Co-(PGE) sulfide deposits are the type example of orthomagmatic mineralization, the archetype "mineral system", and a major source of base and precious metals that are essential to modern civilization and many developing technologies. Although the key elements of their generation and localization are now well known, they formed over a range of crustal depths and have relatively small geological/geochemical/geophysical footprints, so remain challenging targets for exploration.

This webinar will consist of an introduction to concept, three 20-minute mini-lectures, and a 30-minute panel discussion and Q&A with the audience. Students and early career professionals are highly encouraged to join the discussion!

The motivation for both this series and webinar is to provide the space for attendees to develop a better overall understanding of the full base metals value chain, including modern approaches to exploration methodology and the latest developments in academic thinking. The panelists have been chosen for their expertise and for their diverse range of personal and professional experiences, as well as their passion for developing the skillsets of the next generation of geoscientists.



Simon Jowitt

University of Nevada, Reno



Rebecca Sproule

Rio Tinto



C. Michael Lesher

Harquail School of Earth Sciences




Lauren Zeeck

Colorado School of Mines



Registration for this event has closed.

11/16/2023 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Online using Zoom