Nickel price bloodbath in Western Australia as Mincor, Panoramic announce closures – by Tess Ingram (Sydney Morning Herald – January 27, 2016)

The sustained decline in the nickel price has forced three more West Australian operations into suspension at the cost of more than 100 jobs, as the toll of the price crash mounts.

On Wednesday, Panoramic Resources said the weak and uncertain nickel price had forced it to gradually suspend operations at its Savannah mine in Western Australia’s Kimberley region ahead of last shipments and a full care and maintenance position during April.

It came as Mincor Resources confirmed it would cease mining at its Mariner and Miitel mines, both in the historic Kambalda nickel district, at the end of the month “for a period of suspension until the nickel price recovers”.

Together the closures have resulted in 90 job losses, with tens more expected as the operations are wound down.

Shares in both miners sank on the news, with Panoramic closing down 30.8 per cent to 8.3¢ and Mincor down 18.4 per cent to 15.5¢.

Other casualties

Other recent high profile casualties of the nickel price slide include mining magnate Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel which called in voluntary administrators last week and Brazil’s Votorantim Group which will close its Niquelandia operation. Citi dubbed the latter as the downturn’s “first sizeable nickel price-related closure in the Western world”.

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