Archive | Nickel Laterites

New Century, Vale delay nickel mine deal – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – July 28, 2020)

New Century Resources (ASX: NCZ) and Vale (NYSE: VALE) have delayed the deadline for closing the sale of the Brazilian miner’s nickel and cobalt operations on the Pacific island of New Caledonia by 45 days.

The Australian zinc producer entered into a 60-day exclusivity agreement to acquire a 95% stake in Vale Nouvelle Calédonie (VNC), the operator of the troubled Goro nickel-cobalt mine on the French territory, on May 26.

New Century said on Thursday it had made “significant progress” in evaluating the technical and commercial aspects of the transaction, but has not yet finished a definitive binding agreement. Continue Reading →

Indonesia state company to acquire stake in nickel miner (Nikkeo Asian Review – June 22, 2020)

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s state-owned mining holding company will acquire a 20% stake in the local subsidiary of Brazilian mining giant Vale, operator of the world’s largest nickel mine on the island of Sulawesi.

Indonesia is keen to expand control over nickel production as global demand for the commodity, used as batteries in electric vehicles, rises.

In a deal signed last week, Mind Id, the holding company, agreed to pay a combined $390 million or so to Vale and Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining for the Vale Indonesia stake. The transaction is to be completed by the end of the year. Afterward, Vale will have a stake of 44.3% and Sumitomo 15%; the rest of the shares will be traded publicly. Continue Reading →

Column: Knives out for nickel market as restaurants close – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – June 12, 2020)

LONDON (Reuters) – The knives may be out for the nickel market. Stainless steel knives specifically, together with stainless steel forks and spoons.

COVID-19 has hit just about every aspect of the global economy but the hospitality business is one of the worst affected.

A wave of restaurant closures in the developed world would generate a surge of unwanted cutlery. If 20% of restaurants closed, it would translate to around 80,000 tonnes of stainless steel scrap containing 24,000 tonnes of nickel, according to analysts at Citi. Continue Reading →

Nickel market to evolve as EVs, role-players and projects change – by Donna Slater ( – June 5, 2020)

The international refined nickel production and trade market will evolve in the coming decade as China’s large nickel deficit, driven by the electric vehicle (EV) success story, and Russia’s slowly falling nickel surplus, driven by a thin project pipeline, open opportunities for other producers, says financial risk management, solutions and insights company Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research (Fitch).

The company further notes that Indonesia will be one of the outperformers over the coming years, as it is well positioned to service Chinese demand owing to its close geographical location and rising domestic refined nickel production capacity.

In addition, rising nickel production in Japan over the coming years will sustain its growth trend in unwrought nickel exports to top nickel consumers internationally, while the UK and Norway will also have an opportunity to increase production as Europe’s falling imports from Russia enable other top European producers to fill the gap. Continue Reading →

Nickel Rush Restarts As Steel And Battery Demand Rises – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – June 4, 2020)

China’s rapid exit from its Covid-19 lockdown has triggered the restart of a rush for nickel, an old-fashioned metal mainly used in making stainless steel, but also a key ingredient in the batteries of electric vehicles.

While not yet attracting the eye of investors in the same way iron ore has with its 30% rise to $100 a ton there has been a strong flow of deals and a hint of stockpiling ahead of a possible nickel shortage.

Over the past two months the price of nickel has risen by 15%, admittedly off a pandemic low of $5 a pound to $5.75, potentially heading back to $8/lb, where it was last October. Continue Reading →

Indonesia processing requests for deep-sea mining waste disposal, says gov’t official – by Fransiska Nangoy (Reuters U.S. – May 31, 2020)

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian authorities are considering two companies’ requests to dispose mining waste into the ocean, a senior government official said on Sunday, at a time of heightened sensitivity about the environmental impact of mining.

The requests come as mining waste management is increasingly scrutinized after a nickel plant in neighboring Papua New Guinea spilled red mud into the sea last year due to an operational failure.

Indonesia was a major nickel ore exporter until last year, before the government stopped exports in January to support the development of domestic smelters. Continue Reading →

New Century in talks with Brazil’s Vale over nickel-cobalt mine sale – by Nick Toscano (Sydney Morning Herald – May 26, 2020)

Australia’s New Century Resources is in exclusive talks with Brazilian mining giant Vale to take over its troubled nickel and cobalt mine in New Caledonia under a proposed deal that contains a financial contribution from Vale and possible support from the French government.

New Century chief executive Patrick Walta said the company had entered into a 60-day exclusivity period to negotiate the acquisition of a 95 per cent ownership stake in Vale’s Goro mine in the south-west Pacific nation, which has been plagued by problems, delays and cost blow-outs for Vale since mining operations began there in 2011.

Under the proposed deal, Melbourne-based New Century would be effectively paid to take ownership of the Goro mine, with the value of financial contributions from Vale and the potential forgiveness of debts from the French state estimated to be in the vicinity of $1 billion. Continue Reading →

New Century mulls trip to New Caledonia – by Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Tim Boyd (Australian Financial Review – May 20, 2020)

New Century Resources is getting ready to spend some nickels (and dimes).  Street Talk understands the ASX-listed mining player is close to buying a New Caledonian operating nickel mine off the world’s largest iron ore and nickel producer, Vale.

While a deal had not yet been signed on Wednesday evening, sources said it was close to being finalised and expected an announcement in the coming days. New Century’s shares went into a trading halt on Tuesday, regarding “a potential material acquisition”.

The mine in question – called Goro – is located in southern New Caledonia in the South Pacific and has been on the market for the past six months. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Nickel investing comes with a heavy price – by John Dizard (Financial Times – May 15, 2020)

Financial gloomsters have been in much better spirits lately. While the world’s health and economy are in deep trouble, contrarians can now prove they were right all along.

Momentary self-satisfaction at the extent of predicted ruins, though, must be succeeded by some useful observations, such as, what do we do next? A coherent macro view is a start, but even as the financial system teeters towards destructive deflation, it may be possible to identify a few assets, or industries, where real prices and real returns might increase. We will need the money.

I have thought for some time that it would be impossible to shift the auto industry to an electric vehicle future without moving quickly to increase metals production in an environmentally, financially and socially sustainable way. Continue Reading →

Vale mulling offers for New Caledonia nickel assets – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 29, 2020)

Vale (NYSE: VALE), the world’s top producer of nickel and iron ore, has received non-binding offers for its operations on the Pacific island of New Caledonia, it said in a conference call on Wednesday.

The Brazilian mining giant said it expected to have “relevant news” on the topic within a month or two.

Vale put its New Caledonia nickel assets on the block in December. The decision came after it had to write down $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter related to the ailing mines, the world’s biggest nickel operations. Continue Reading →

Nickel Exploration and Mining – outlook and update – by Kathrine Moore (Resource World – April 28, 2020)

NICKEL IS A BASE METAL with many uses; from coins to skyscrapers it is part of our daily life, including the kitchen sink. But not all nickel is equal. Different types of nickel are used for different purposes. Mark Jarvis, CEO of Giga Metals, spoke to Resource World about the nickel industry, nickel demand and types of nickel.

According to Jarvis, 70% of all nickel produced is used to feed stainless-steel mills. Most of that nickel is class 2 nickel, including nickel pig iron, an iron nickel alloy, a type of low-grade ferro-nickel. A small amount of class 1 or pure nickel, on average 5% of the nickel units, is necessary for steel making,

All other uses of nickel require class 1 nickel, including storage batteries and batteries that power electric vehicles. Jarvis explained that class 1 nickel is nickel that can be economically upgraded to 99.9% nickel or better. Continue Reading →

Column: Lockdowns and low prices generate nickel supply shock – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – April 27, 2020)

LONDON (Reuters) – If the boredom has well and truly set in after weeks of travel restrictions and social distancing, you could always join metal traders in a game of lockdown lottery.

Metals have priced in the demand shock, or at least the first-stage demand shock, rippling around the world with the spread of COVID-19. The index of the major base metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME) bottomed out on March 23 and has since rebounded by 7%.

Now the game is to assess the size of the supply shock to follow as national lockdowns force mines to curtail operations while low prices push some higher-cost operators out of the market altogether. Continue Reading →

Nickel prices on a roller-coaster ride – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – April 25, 2020)

With so many factors at play around the world, the price of nickel is heading back up after looking to drop below the US $5 a pound mark just a few weeks ago.

The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, has shuttered economies and cut into global demand for nickel. At the same time, Indonesia has banned the export of nickel ore, which will tighten supplies and affect large nickel purchaser China.

On Friday, nickel closed at $5.50 a pound, close to the average world price of nickel in March, which was $5.40 a pound. About three months ago, however, nickel was selling for almost $6.50 a pound. Continue Reading →

BofA sees nickel taking big COVID-19 hit – by Henry Lazenby (Mining Journal – April 2020)

With global GDP forecast to grow at just 0.3% this year, translating into a 2.8% year-on-year contraction to nickel demand, about 150,000 tonnes of surplus metal or 10% of global supply could accumulate.

Industry players including Vale, Sumitomo, Glencore and South32 have all shown concern over nickel fundamentals, prompting production responses that “should ultimately limit the supply overhang”, according to the bank.

“Similar to copper, we therefore believe prices could rally, when a treatment (not necessarily a vaccine) is found or the isolation measures show success,” BofA said. Continue Reading →

Bondholders poised to reject Sherritt’s restructuring plan – by Andrew Willis (Globe and Mail – April 2, 2020)

Lenders to Sherritt International Corp. plan to turn down the nickel miner’s proposed restructuring plan, partly on concerns the deal would set a poor precedent for future showdowns with debt-heavy companies grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toronto-based Sherritt borrowed heavily to build mines in Cuba and Madagascar, with some of its projects costing far more than expected. With nickel prices in a slump for more than a decade, Sherritt has made paying down debt a priority for the past five years. In February, the company announced what it called a “comprehensive solution to its liquidity challenges.”

The miner’s debenture owners, a group that includes insurance companies and asset managers, are scheduled to vote April 9 on a recapitalization in which they would exchange $588-million of debt due over the next five years for new paper worth $319-million that matures in seven years. Continue Reading →