First it was copper prices which hit an eight-year high.

Now it’s nickel’s turn, with prices on the London Metal Exchange hitting peaks not seen since September 2014,  reaching US$18,612/t this week.

The rising trend for metals is largely caused by the green energy drive from global governments, the transition to electric vehicles and the push by the mining industry to lead the ESG movement through decarbonisation and emissions reductions.

Nickel is predicted to recover through 2021 as COVID-19 vaccines roll out and stimulus packages materialise.

The price spike follows India’s announcement that the country will house a new Tesla manufacturing factory, as foreshadowed by Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk.

Consultants Wood Mackenzie have warned that $1 trillion of investment would be needed in key energy transition metals — aluminium, cobalt, copper, nickel, and lithium — over the next 15 years to meet the growing demands of decarbonisation.

“One can argue about both the pace and scale of the energy transition but the criticality of metals to its realisation is without question,” Wood Mackenzie said.

“Put simply, the energy transition starts and ends with metals. If you want to generate, transmit or store low/no-carbon energy you need aluminium, cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium.”