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by Megan Stals

Nickel stocks on ASX: Top nickel mining companies [2023]

The nickel market sees demand from various industries and potential future growth from the electric vehicle battery sector.

Key highlights:

  • Nickel demand is tied to general economic sentiments, especially the construction industry.
  • The nickel market is currently driven by stainless steel demand and an emerging EV battery industry.
  • ASX nickel stocks present investors with a choice of firms ranging from small explorers to large mining titans.

Who is Australia's biggest nickel producer?

BHP is likely Australia's biggest nickel producer, as the firm owns several of the largest nickel mines in the country. The Mount Keith Mine produced 38.6 million tonnes of nickel in 2021 and 20.9 million tonnes came from the Leinster Mine. IGO Limited's ($IGO) Nova Project was another top-five producer and possible option for those looking for ASX nickel stocks.

Other big players in the nickel market are Glencore with its Murrin Murrin Mine and First Quantum Minerals' Ravensthorpe Mine. There are several significant nickel producers coming onto the scene in the next few years, as nickel demand is expected to grow with the shift to lower carbon technologies. Australia was the world's fifth largest producer of nickel in 2022.

Top 10 nickel stocks on ASX

Company Name


Stock Price

Year to Date

Market Capitalisation

Nickel Industries Limited





BHP Group Limited





Poseidon Nickel Limited





IGO Limited





Mincor Resources NL





Panoramic Resources Limited





Golden Mile Resources Ltd





Centaurus Metals Limited





Blackstone Minerals Limited





Azure Minerals Limited





Data as of 24 March 2023.

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Discover the ASX nickel companies to watch

1. Nickel Industries Limited ($NIC)

Market capitalisation: $2.65b

Stock price (as of 24/03/2023): $0.88

Stake platform bought / sold (1 Jan 2023 - 23 Mar 2023): 54% / 46%

Nickel Industries is a significant producer of nickel pig iron (‘NPI’), a key ingredient to produce stainless steel. It has several assets in Indonesia, the world's largest producer of nickel. The Hengjaya Nickel and Ranger Projects are already operating nickel mines and processing plants in an industrial park.

They've recently acquired interests in the Oracle and Angel Nickel Project to expand future nickel production levels. Their plans include transitioning from exploration and mining to a greater focus on upstream nickel production. This matches Indonesia's ambitions to gain higher margins from their activities in the nickel industries.

2. BHP Group Limited ($BHP)

Market capitalisation: $220.36b

Stock price (as of 24/03/2023): $43.49

Stake platform bought / sold (1 Jan 2023 - 23 Mar 2023): 68% / 32%

Despite nickel volumes being relatively small compared to its outputs of copper and iron, BHP remains a significant producer of the metal. During FY22 the totals amounted to 76.8 kilo tonnes of nickel. They own several of Australia's largest nickel mines and have extended their reach into upstream operations by constructing refineries.

Most of their materials are processed into nickel sulphate and around 85% of their production is sold to the battery sector. The metal's likely to become a mainstay of their portfolio and BHP's invested $140m into further nickel exploration in the next two years. They're positioned to stay on top of nickel industries in Australia, but also pursue more future projects abroad.

3. Poseidon Nickel Limited ($POS)

Market capitalisation: $110.21m

Stock price (as of 24/03/2023): $0.04

Stake platform bought / sold (1 Jan 2023 - 23 Mar 2023): 75% / 25%

Poseidon Nickel holds the Windarra, Black Swan and Lake Johnston Nickel Projects in Western Australia (WA). Together they contain nearly 400 kilo tonnes of nickel and the capacity to process up to 3.7 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of nickel ore. They're located within 300 km of mining town Kalgoorlie.

The Black Swan Project previously operated between 1997 and 2008. Restarting the mine could see the company become Australia's next nickel sulphide producer. The team intends to be producing nickel by early 2024 and take advantage of high nickel prices due to demand from lithium ion batteries.

4. IGO Limited ($IGO)

Market capitalisation: $8.99b

Stock price (as of 24/03/2023): $11.88

Stake platform bought / sold (1 Jan 2023 - 23 Mar 2023): 67% / 33%

IGO owns and operates three Australian nickel mines. They include the Nova Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project, Forrestania Nickel Operation and the Cosmos Nickel project, which are all in Western Australia. Forrestania has one of the world's highest grade nickel producers, the Flying Fox Mine.

IGO has branched out to other metals in the battery sector. They've entered a joint venture with Tianqi Lithium Corporation for a 51% stake in the Greenbushes Lithium Mine and have an interest in a downstream processing refinery at Kwinana. This facility plans to produce lithium hydroxide for the EV battery industry.

5. Mincor Resources NL ($MCR)

Market capitalisation: $817.29m

Stock price (as of 24/03/2023): $1.52

Stake platform bought / sold (1 Jan 2023 - 23 Mar 2023): 63% / 37%

Mincor's assets are in Western Australia's historic Kambalda mining district. The team restarted operations in 2022 and currently have three streams. The flagship Cassini Nickel Mine is expected to be responsible for 56% of nickel production over the life of the combined project.

Nickel mines at the Northern Operations and ore from the Miitel Mine should account for later years in the project life. They have an agreement with BHP to process the nickel sulphide ore at a nearby facility and to sell the final materials to the mining giant.

6. Panoramic Resources Limited ($PAN)

Market capitalisation: $306.54m

Stock price (as of 24/03/2023): $0.16

Stake platform bought / sold (1 Jan 2023 - 23 Mar 2023): 70% / 30%

Panoramic Resources runs the Savannah Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Operation in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The original mine was put on care and maintenance at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic amidst falling nickel prices. Panoramic restarted the mine in 2021 and expects the project to last for at least 12 years.

They've been working on an expansion plan and expect to increase nickel production by the end of FY23. The teams also completing additional drill programs in the surrounding areas and is optimistic about potential future growth of their operations.

7. Golden Mile Resources Ltd ($G88)

Market capitalisation: $3.44m

Stock price (as of 24/03/2023): $0.02

Stake platform bought / sold (1 Jan 2023 - 23 Mar 2023): 45% / 55%

Golden Miles Resources is focused on potential nickel, copper and lithium ventures. They've started work on the Quicksilver Nickel-Cobalt Project, located about 280 km southeast of Perth. The next steps are to complete studies to gain further information about the area's geology and begin to assess the suitability of various mine plans.

The team has another prospective multi-commodity project, named Yarrambee. It includes nickel and is in WA's Murchison region. They're also involved with joint ventures on other projects, mainly for gold and own additional assets with possible lithium deposits.

8. Centaurus Metals Limited ($CTM)

Market capitalisation: $367.30m

Stock price (as of 24/03/2023): $0.86

Stake platform bought / sold (1 Jan 2023 - 23 Mar 2023): 80% / 20%

Centaurus Metals's business strategy is to develop the Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in Brazil. It's located in the Carajás region, known for hosting the world's largest iron ore mine. They're currently working on a definitive feasibility study for Jaguar to optimise production and finalise the general mine plan for their resource of an estimated 938,500 tonnes of contained nickel.

They're also completing tests to determine whether and how their nickel sulphide could be upgraded into a material suitable for use in batteries for electric vehicles. Centaurus Metals owns 100% of an iron ore asset in Brazil and they intend to find a local partner in the steel sector to progress the Jambeiro Project.

9. Blackstone Minerals Limited ($BSX)

Market capitalisation: $73.37m

Stock price (as of 24/03/2023): $0.16

Stake platform bought / sold (1 Jan 2023 - 23 Mar 2023): 60% / 40%

Blackstone Minerals is developing the Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper Project in Vietnam. It's around 160 km west of Hanoi in the Son La Province. They have a 90% interest in the asset, which includes an existing modern nickel mine built to Australian standards that previously operated between 2013 and 2016.

They're looking at constructing a nearby processing plant to create materials to meet the growing nickel demand from Asia’s lithium-ion battery industry. The team's aim is to start nickel production from the mine in 2024 and could produce up to 18 kilo tonnes of nickel concentrate per year. The initial mine life is expected to be ten years from their 485 kilo tonnes of contained nickel sulphide resources.

10. Azure Minerals Limited ($AZS)

Market capitalisation: $111.22m

Stock price (as of 24/03/2023): $0.28

Stake platform bought / sold (1 Jan 2023 - 23 Mar 2023): 46% / 54%

Azure has a 60% stake in the Andover Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project. It's located in WA's Pilbara region, around 35 km south east of Karratha. The team plans to move forward with a two phase strategy, which involves getting Andover into production while expanding its size and scale through exploration activities.

Traces of lithium have also been found on the Andover property. They're currently doing additional drilling to grow the resource and more studies to put together an initial outline for the mine. Azure has additional assets in WA, which are at an earlier stage. They have potential for base metals such as base copper, zinc, lead, as well as precious metals like gold and silver.

💡Related: Lithium stocks on ASX

💡Related: Gold stocks ASX: Top 10 gold mining companies

Are there any nickel ETFs to invest in?

There aren't any ETFs that exclusively focus on nickel companies, but there are options for ASX mining stocks. The VanEck Australian Resources ETF ($MVR) holds at least 20 companies that receive more than half of their revenues from the resources sector. It has a 0.35% fee and two other options are at 0.34%.

The SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Resources Fund ($OZR) provides exposure to companies from the subsector that are in Australia's 200 largest companies by market cap. The BetaShares Resources Sector ETF ($QRE) focuses on the biggest firms in the segment and BHP accounts for 38% of its total holdings as at 24 March 2023.

Use our stock comparison tool to compare MVR vs OZR or MVR vs QRE and see which ETF has stronger performance.

What is nickel used for?

Nickel is valued for being malleable, corrosion and oxidation resistant. It's often combined with other metals to produce alloys that can withstand high temperatures and harsh environments. Around 70% of nickel demand comes from the stainless steel sector. Stainless steel is widely used in everyday items from utensils and cars. It's also important in the industrial sector, with it being commonly used for reinforcement in buildings, in power plants and in water treatment.

Nearly 11% of nickel demand comes from the battery sector, 7% from various alloys and 6% for plating applications. Around one third of nickel consumption is linked to engineering applications and 23% finds an end use in various metal goods. Approximately 16% goes to the transport sector and 14% to the construction industry.

What are the pros and cons of investing in nickel?

Many investors are interested in nickel because it is a vital ingredient in lithium-ion batteries and the electric vehicle industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Nickel is also used in actual infrastructure in solar and wind farms in the form of stainless steel and other metal alloys. Increases in large construction projects tend to be linked to overall positive economic sentiments.

Steel production is an energy intensive process and is likely to come under pressure to reduce its carbon emissions. Some investors have raised questions about the environmental impacts of nickel producers in Indonesia. The performance of a ASX nickel stock could differ significantly depending on its assets.

Those producing class one nickel, with a purity of 99.8%, can sell their products to the open market on the London Metals Exchange. It's also the preferred option for buyers wanting to produce steel alloys, plating products and for electric vehicle batteries. While those with class two nickel usually need to establish their own contracts directly with a buyer.

The nickel price has been relatively volatile and the London Metals Exchange suspended trading in 2022 due to fears of a market collapse. Further fraud cases by major trading firms mean that concerns about market liquidity remain. The unstable nickel price also hinders the long term financing and planning that's required by mining projects.

This does not constitute financial product advice nor a recommendation to invest in the securities listed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. As always, do your own research and consider seeking appropriate financial or taxation advice before investing.

Portrait photo of Megan Stals, Market Analyst at Stake.

Megan Stals

Market Analyst

Megan is a markets analyst at Stake, with 7 years of experience in the world of investing and a Master’s degree in Business and Economics from The University of Sydney Business School. Megan has extensive knowledge of the UK markets, working as an analyst at ARCH Emerging Markets - a UK investment advisory platform focused on private equity. Previously she also worked as an analyst at Australian robo advisor Stockspot, where she researched ASX listed equities and helped construct the company's portfolios.


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