INTERVIEW-Sherritt sees Cuban nickel venture returning to profit in 2017 – by Sarah Marsh (Reuters U.K. – November 17, 2016)

HAVANA – Nov 17 Sherritt International Corp’s joint nickel venture in Cuba will return to profit next year if prices for the metal sustain themselves at the current level, the Canadian mining company’s head said in an interview.

Speaking at Sherritt’s office in Havana on Wednesday, Chief Executive David Pathe said the price, which has risen around 20 percent this year from multi-year lows, could even improve given global nickel supplies were expected to swing into a deficit.

“If prices can sustain where we are now, we will be EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) positive at these prices with some upside in 2017,” Pathe said. “It looks like the nickel market… is moving into deficit, with forecasts of deficit for few years, and we are optimistic it will be positive for pricing going forward,” Pathe said.

A Reuters poll released last week showed that analysts expected the average price of nickel would hover around current levels of around $11,000 a tonne in 2017.

Nickel is essential in the production of stainless steel and other corrosion-resistant alloys. Beyond its Cuba venture, Sherritt also has a stake in a large Madagascar nickel mine.

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