Archive | Nickel Laterites

Exclusive: China’s Tsingshan roils nickel market with buying spree – by Pratima Desai and Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – July 19, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON/BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese firm Tsingshan Holding Group has been buying large quantities of stainless steel ingredient nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) to supplement its own output, two sources familiar with the matter said. They could not specify the amounts Tsingshan has bought.

Nickel prices slid to their lowest for the year in the second quarter as investment funds sold on the expectation of slowing demand from Chinese stainless steel mills as economic activity came under pressure from the U.S.-China trade war.

But as unexpectedly higher demand numbers started to trickle out, the same funds rushed to cut their bets on lower prices. Continue Reading →

Elon Musk: Revolutionising Space Transportation with Stainless Steel – by Benjamin Spilker (Matmatch.com – July 12, 2019)

https://matmatch.com

SpaceX has come a long way. After being shocked by the absence of NASA’s concrete plans for a manned mission to Mars in the early 2000s, Elon Musk, the well-known entrepreneur and engineer, founded SpaceX in order to establish affordable access to space.

After spending a couple of years on designing, building and testing the first privately developed orbital rockets, the fourth launch of the Falcon 1 rocket into orbit was successful, marking the dawn of private space transportation.

With its proven capabilities, SpaceX was awarded a substantial contract from NASA for supply missions to the International Space Station, providing the funding for a rapid development of new launch vehicles. Continue Reading →

Metals in Space: How Superalloys Changed the Rocket Landscape – by Benjamin Spilker (Matmatch.com – March 26, 2019)

https://matmatch.com/

There is a high chance that a large variety of metals is in your proximity at this very moment. Metals are found and used virtually everywhere, from the iron in your red blood cells to the rare earth metals in the screen you are reading these lines from.

Many of the greatest advances in technology can be traced back to the exceptional characteristics that can be achieved by manufacturing parts from metal or alloying different metals to obtain even more superior materials.

Apart from the materials themselves, the manufacturing techniques evolved from hammering copper in approximately the 6th millennium BC [1] to, more recently, 3D printing of titanium. Continue Reading →

Mining Giant to Spend Billions to Halt Indonesian Metal Imports – by Eko Listiyorini and Tassia Sipahutar (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – July 18, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia plans to spend billions of dollars in building aluminum and nickel smelters as it seeks to cut reliance on imports of finished metal and stem exports of raw minerals.

State-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium will earmark as much as $10 billion over the next five years to develop refineries and smelters, according to President Director Budi Gunadi Sadikin. The investment will be made by the company and its units including nickel and bauxite miner PT Aneka Tambang, he said.

Indonesia is seeking to reshape its mining industry by making it mandatory for miners to build smelters after decades of free exports of raw materials left it reliant on costly imports to meet demand. Continue Reading →

Column: Nickel jumps but fear of Indonesia export ban is unfounded – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – July 17, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Nickel is enlivening an otherwise torpid summer for the base metals complex. The market is on a bull charge in both London and Shanghai. London Metal Exchange three-month nickel has jumped 23% since the start of June and at a current $14,250 per tonne is trading at its highest level in a year.

Chinese speculators are surging into the Shanghai Futures Exchange contract, which is also nudging one-year highs. The trigger for this collective exuberance is news that Indonesia will stop allowing the export of unprocessed nickel ore in 2022.

Since this is a key raw material pipeline for China’s giant nickel pig iron (NPI) sector, the price reaction might seem rational. Except that the “news” is not new. The 2022 deadline was set in 2017, when the Indonesian government allowed a five-year grace period for ore exporters in return for investment in processing capacity. Continue Reading →

France’s Eramet gives go-ahead to lithium project in Argentina (Reuters U.S. – June 24, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

PARIS, June 24 (Reuters) – Eramet has approved the development of a lithium mine in Argentina as the French group pursues a shift towards minerals used to power electric vehicles to meet burgeoning demand.

The miner expects to invest 525 million euros ($597 million) in the Centenario deposit with the aim of producing 24,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year in a first phase that could start at the end of 2021, it said on Monday.

The estimates were in line with previous guidance given by the company earlier this year. A final investment decision would be made at the earliest in the fourth quarter of this year once financing has been obtained, it said in a statement. Continue Reading →

A photo of a dead fisherman left many questions for a Swiss-Russian mine in Guatemala – by Marion Guégan and Cécile Schilis-Gallego (Toronto Star – June 22, 2019)

https://www.thestar.com/

A group of fishermen from an Indigenous community in Guatemala demanded to know more about the environmental impact of a ferronickel mine established on their ancestral land. One of them was killed, and a local reporter was criminalized for covering the story.

Forbidden Stories, an international consortium of 40 journalists publishing in 30 media organizations around the world, joined forces to continue the reporter’s work. This is part of the “Green Blood” series, a project pursuing stories of journalists who have been threatened, jailed or killed while investigating environmental issues.

If it were not for a journalist taking pictures that day, some might claim that it is unclear how Carlos Maaz’s last moments unfolded. There was a cloud of tear gas, the chaos of an improvised protest, the echo of bullets and rocks flying through the crowd. Continue Reading →

Green Blood: The Guatemalans who pay the price for the west’s need for nickel – by Juliette Garside (The Guardian – June 19, 2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/

The road to Guatemala’s biggest nickel mine is barely visible through a cloud of red dust, churned up by the 25-tonne trucks that thunder past loaded with ore.

From the choking haze a cyclist emerges, weaving between the lorries. On his back he carries a bundle of firewood. Goggles protect his eyes, a bandana covers his nose and mouth.

Manuel Choc, a grandfather with greying hair, lives in the settlement of El Paraíso, almost opposite the gates of the Fenix mine. Each bundle sells for 10 quetzals (£1). It is a precarious living. Continue Reading →

LITHIUM CONF: High-content nickel batteries to remain predominant – by Renato Rostás (Metal Bulletin – June 11, 2019)

https://www.metalbulletin.com/

The growing need for class 1 nickel, which is suited for batteries,
is becoming an issue to the industry, McKinsey’s co-head of EV
battery materials research group, Ken Hoffman, commented.

Santiago: Lithium-ion batteries with higher nickel content will be predominant in the coming years as the industry searches for improved electric capacity, market participants said during Fastmarkets’ 11th Lithium Supply and Markets Conference on Monday June 10.

However, NCM811 batteries – which have 80% nickel, 10% cobalt and 10% manganese – have a long way to go to become more cost efficient as its use demands lengthier treatment to ensure safety and durability, they added.

The NCM622 – 60% Ni, 20% Co, 20% Mn battery – category will lead market share at least until 2025, Chinese electrochemical cathode materials producer Pulead Technology Industry forecast. Continue Reading →

Trump’s Cuba gambit pushes Canadian miner Sherritt to the brink – by Paula Sambo and Danielle Bochove (BNNBloomberg News – June 5, 2019)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

Sherritt International Corp. (S.TO), whose executives were once known as Fidel Castro’s favorite capitalists, is paying the price for its close ties to the struggling Caribbean nation.

The Canadian miner, which gets all its revenue from assets in Cuba, is being hit on multiple fronts by Donald Trump’s isolationism, plunging nickel prices and cost overruns. With the stock at 21 cents and its bonds trading at distressed levels, investors are starting to question the company’s viability.

“It all depends how the world unfolds in terms of commodity prices and the U.S.-Cuban relationship,” Chief Executive Officer David Pathe said in an interview this week. “There’s only so much that we can do right now and that’s focusing on the things that we can control.” Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Confusing signals cloud London nickel market – by Andy Home (Reuters Africa – May 20, 2019)

https://af.reuters.com/

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) – The London Metal Exchange (LME) nickel market was last week gripped by the most acute tightness in a decade. Time-spreads flexed into backwardation as a long-running downtrend in exchange stocks squeezed short position holders.

Falling inventory and tighter spreads are normally strong bull signals in a commodity market. And in nickel’s case they seem to tally nicely with the International Nickel Study Group’s (INSG) forecast that supply will fall short of usage for the fourth successive year in 2019.

However, conspicuous by its absence is any strength in the outright nickel price, which has fallen from a March high of $13,765 per tonne to a current $11,910. Continue Reading →

Japan’s SMM aims to double battery material capacity in nine years – by Yuka Obayashi (Reuters U.S. – May 17, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese miner and smelter Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd (SMM) aims to more than double its production capacity of cathode materials used in batteries for automobiles by March 2028, its president Akira Nozaki said on Friday.

SMM, which also makes electrical materials, supplies the nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) cathode materials used in Panasonic Corp’s lithium-ion battery that powers Tesla Inc’s Model 3 and Model X cars.

The Japanese company plans to boost its output capacity of cathode materials to 10,000 tonnes a month by end-March 2028, from 4,550 tonnes a month now, Nozaki told an analyst meeting. Continue Reading →

[Philippines Mining] Gov’t to go after big mining firms anew – by Madelaine B.Miraflor Manila Bulletin – May 2, 2019)

https://business.mb.com.ph/

Some of the big mining companies who already passed the first round of government-led mining audit will not be off the hook in the second round of mining audit happening this year. In fact, the forthcoming audit, which is expected to start in a few weeks, is mostly going to be about them.

Environment Undersecretary for Mining Concerns Analiza Rebuelta-Teh said that as much as 17 mining companies will be reviewed in the second batch of Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) audit. Of this, 12 mining companies already passed the audit carried by former Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez in 2016.

Based on the list obtained by Business Bulletin, the mining companies to be reviewed in the second round of audit include Philex Mining Corporation, Agata Mining Ventures, Inc., Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation, SR Metals, Inc., Apex Mining Company, Cagdianao Mining Corporation, and Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Eramet gets go-ahead to boost New Caledonia nickel exports, shares rise (Reuters U.S. – April 16, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

PARIS, April 16 (Reuters) – French mining company Eramet said its loss-making SLN nickel division had received a boost from the New Caledonia government approving a sharp rise in SLN’s nickel ore exports. Eramet shares rose around 5 percent in early trading.

The company said the decision would allow SLN to export its lower-grade nickel ore, which in turn would allow SLN to cut its costs. It added the move would help it execute a broader strategy plan to reduce SLN’s cash cost by $1.30 per lb by 2021.

“I would like to thank the government of New Caledonia and all the stakeholders who contributed to this decision,” said Eramet Chairman and CEO Christel Bories. “This is a sign of confidence in the successful implementation of the SLN rescue plan.” Continue Reading →

Indonesia battery-grade nickel plant awaits environmental nod- developer – by Fransiska Nangoy and Wilda Asmarini (Reuters U.S. – April 5, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

JAKARTA, April 5 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s first plant to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals is on track to start operations by 2020, though the project still needs an environmental permit that could take up to eight months to be approved, the developer told Reuters.

China’s Tsingshan Group and partners including GEM Co Ltd are building a $700 million high pressure acid leaching (HPAL) plant at the PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, a nickel mining hub.

Ground breaking started in January on the plant, which is due to be completed within 16 to 18 months and will allow Indonesia to export nickel sulphate, a component for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs). Continue Reading →