Nickel on the upswing – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – January 3, 2018)

“So, we should remember that the many sustainable mining
practices — lowering carbon emissions, mine safety and an
96 per cent reductions in sulphur emissions since 1970, just
to name a few — done in the Sudbury Basin to supply the
necessary nickel, copper and cobalt puts this community in
a leading role in the transition to a green auto future.

“Both the provincial and federal levels of government should
recognize this important fact and ensure none of their green
energy policies hinder the future growth of this strategic
sector.” (Stan Sudol –

It looks like 2018 will be a very good year for nickel. Last month, world metal markets closed for the Christmas break with nickel on an upswing. The metal reached $5.46/pound U.S., more than $1 U.S. higher than the average price of $4.43/pound U.S. in the first half of the year..

The $5.46 U.S. price was also 23 cents higher than the $5.23U.S. recorded back on Nov. 27. The amount of nickel sitting in London Metal Exchange warehouses –another indicator of where prices are headed — is also showing signs of life. On Nov. 27, there were 382,362 tonnes of nickel in the warehouses. But as of Dec. 20, the total had fallen to 373,400.

The 373,400 tonnes is also a far cry from the 389,154 tonnes recorded on Aug. 31, 2017, one of the year’s highest inventory days. Stan Sudol, owner/editor of The Republic of Mining website, is not surprised at what is happening to nickel.

“Without a doubt, the world is heading towards an electric vehicle future and the batteries used to power these vehicles contain significant quantities of nickel, copper and cobalt – all of which are mined in the Sudbury Basin,” he said. “Just an aside, we should also not forget that the polymetallic ore in Sudbury also contains platinum group metals – the third largest source in the world after South Africa and Russia – which are currently used to build catalytic converters used to control auto exhaust pollution in the cars we drive today.”

Sudol said that while the global manufacturing sector has finally realized there may be future shortages of nickel, they are probably just beginning to understand the magnitude of that scarcity.

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