JPMorgan Exits Nickel Saga as Tycoon Shrinks ‘Big Short’ – by Alfred Cang and Jack Farchy (Bloomberg News – June 28, 2022)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. no longer has any exposure to the nickel bet that rocked global metals markets earlier this year, after a drop in prices on the London Metal Exchange allowed the tycoon at the center of the squeeze to exit his positions with the bank.

JPMorgan emerged as a central player in the fallout from March’s nickel chaos because it was the largest counterparty to the massive short position held by Chinese entrepreneur Xiang Guangda’s Tsingshan Holding Group Co.

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Nickel, Tesla and two decades of environmental activism: Q&A with leader Raphaël Mapou – by Nick Rodway (Mongabay.com – June 22, 2022)

https://news.mongabay.com/

GORO, New Caledonia – Known widely as the “Madagascar of the Pacific,” New Caledonia is coated in remnant Gondwana rainforest and surrounded by reefs rich in marine life that constitute one of the largest marine parks on earth. It is a French territory located approximately 1,470 kilometers (900 miles) northeast of Brisbane, Australia.

Despite its size, New Caledonia punches far above its weight ecologically. It houses the longest continuous barrier reef in the world and is internationally renowned for its plant species, over 80% of which are endemic. The territory is also one of the world’s largest producers of nickel and holds a quarter of the earth’s known reserves.

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All eyes on Tesla as it invests in a troubled nickel mine – by Nick Rodway (Mongabay News – June 22, 2022)

https://news.mongabay.com/

GORO, New Caledonia — On the south side of Grand Terre, the largest and principal island of New Caledonia in the south Pacific, mountains rise like a spine out of a vast, turquoise lagoon that forms part of the longest continuous barrier reef in the world.

Although a French overseas territory, New Caledonia—located approximately 1,470 kilometers (900 miles) northeast of Brisbane, Australia—has been home to the Indigenous Kanak people for thousands of years and has a history and culture as rich as its ecology.

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Column: LME nickel lawsuits are about principle as much as money – by Andy Home (Reuters – June 9, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, June 9 (Reuters) – The London Metal Exchange’s (LME) nickel nightmare continues. U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management and trading house Jane Street are suing the exchange for $456 million and $15.3 million respectively over its handling of the nickel market meltdown in March.

The LME suspended trading in its nickel contract at 0815 UK local time on March 8 after the price exploded to $101,365 per tonne. It also cancelled all trades between midnight and the market halt.

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Chinese Companies Seize Indonesian Nickel Resources Amid New Energy Battery Opportunities – by Anne Zhang (The Epoch Times – May 26, 2022)

https://www.theepochtimes.com/

The recent big investments Chinese companies are making in Indonesian nickel mines are attracting renewed attention. China’s CNGR Advanced Materials Co Ltd. announced on May 19 that it will expand its nickel matte business in Indonesia, partnering with Singapore’s RIGQUEZA International Co., LTD.

A total investment of $1.26 billion will be put in a production line in Indonesia with an annual capacity of 40,000 tons of nickel matte. This is the second cooperation between the two companies in Indonesia. In 2021, the two sides signed a cooperation project agreement to produce 60,000 tons of nickel matte per year.

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Column: Nickel demand boomed in 2021; this year it will be supply – by Andy Home (Reuters – May 18, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) – Global nickel usage surged by an extraordinary 16.2% last year on the back of booming demand from both the dominant stainless steel and fast-growing battery end-use sectors.

The result was a supply shortfall of 168,000 tonnes, the largest production deficit in at least a decade, according to the International Nickel Study Group’s latest statistical snapshot on the market.

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Indonesia’s Jokowi meets Tesla’s Musk after nickel talks – by Stanley Widianto, Ed Davies, Norihiko Shirouzu, Gavin Maguire, Fransiska Nangoy and Kevin Krolicki (Mining.com/Reuters – May 15, 2022)

https://www.mining.com/

Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk on Saturday in Texas to discuss potential investments and technology, Indonesia’s government said in a statement.

The meeting between Musk and Widodo, better known as Jokowi, came after a round of working-level discussions on a potential investment in Indonesia’s nickel industry and supply of batteries for electric vehicles, Indonesian officials told Reuters.

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Indonesia’s claim that banning nickel exports spurs downstreaming is questionable – by Krisna Gupta (The Jakarta Post – April 3, 2022)

https://www.thejakartapost.com/

The Indonesian government has claimed that its raw nickel export ban, which started in January 2021, has shown positive impacts after seeing increases in mining investments and exports of nickel-derived products.

This statement seems to be premature, considering that the government has failed to disclose the data that can support this argument. The Indonesian government has long desired to add high value to domestic mining products, especially nickel, through downstreaming.

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Column: LME nickel limps back but tensions are not going away – by Andy Home (Reuters – March 25, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) – London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel is currently trading at $35,150 per tonne. This is in itself something of an achievement for the exchange. It’s not been easy restarting the London nickel market after its March 8 breakdown and ensuing week-long suspension.

Since trading resumed on March 16 we’ve had four limit-down days and two limit-up days, briefly interrupted by a day of almost normal trading on March 22. Official and closing prices have been declared “disruption events” six times.

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Nickel turmoil is back as prices spike 15% again to hit limit – by Mark Burton and Jack Farchy (Bloomberg/Mining.com – March 24, 2022)

https://www.mining.com/

Nickel surged by the 15% exchange limit for a second day in London, putting the spotlight back on bearish position holders just two weeks since the market was roiled by an historic short squeeze.

Nickel futures remained locked at the price limit by Thursday afternoon on the London Metal Exchange, as the latest spike extends a period of unprecedented turmoil for the market. Prices soared over 250% over two trading sessions in early March during the short squeeze centered on China’s Tsingshan Holding Group Co., before the market was suspended.

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LME Nickel market chaos clouds pricing, chills investment – by Camille Erickson (S&P Global Market Intelligence – March 21, 2022)

https://www.spglobal.com/

The London Metal Exchange’s two-week-long inability to facilitate the free flow of nickel trades has locked up the nickel market from investment and sowed uncertainty across the metal’s supply chain.

The LME provides crucial price transparency for nickel suppliers and buyers negotiating long-term nickel supply deals and gives critical signals to financers looking to back production capacity growth amid high prices.

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‘The Steve Jobs of metals’ who brought the nickel market to a halt – by Neil Hume, Hudson Lockett, Eleanor Olcott and Gloria Li (Australian Financial Review – March 13, 2022)

https://www.afr.com/

London | To understand why Xiang Guangda is regarded as the Steve Jobs of metals, look at an aerial shot of the Morowali Industrial Park on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It is here that the Chinese businessman built a vast manufacturing complex that stands as a testament to his domination of the global stainless steel industry.

“Xiang is a visionary,” says Kenny Ives, the former head of nickel trading at Glencore. “Tsingshan’s success in both China and Indonesia over the last 10 to 15 years is extraordinary.”

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Chinese tycoon’s ‘big short’ on nickel trips up Tsingshan’s miracle growth – by Praveen Menon, Min Zhang and Fransiska Nangoy (Reuters – March 14, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

March 14 (Reuters) – (This March 13 story corrects size of Morowali industrial park in paragraph 20, and to show production data is for whole company, not only for its Sulawesi facilities, in paragraph 21)

Chinese tycoon Xiang Guangda has to find a way to bail his Tsingshan Holding Group out of a crisis after its bet on nickel prices backfired, fuelling more volatility in a metal essential for the electric vehicles industry.

One of the world’s top nickel producers faces massive losses on its short positions after prices soared over $100,000 per tonne last week and forced the London Metal Exchange to halt nickel trading.

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Is a Madagascan mine the first to offset its destruction of rainforest? – by Patrick Greenfield (The Guardian – March 9, 2022)

https://www.theguardian.com/

Researchers say the island’s biggest mine is on track to achieve no net loss of forest but that ‘there remain important caveats’

Ambatovy mine on the east coast of Madagascar is an environmental conundrum fit for the 21st century. Beginning operations in 2012, the multibillion-dollar open-pit nickel and cobalt mine is the largest investment in the history of the country, one of the poorest on Earth.

About 9,000 Malagasies are employed by the project, owned by the Japanese company Sumitomo Corporation and Korean firm Komir, which mines minerals destined for the world’s electric car batteries.

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Wild Nickel Market May Get Relief From Indonesia’s Higher Output – by Eko Listiyorini (Bloomberg News – March 9, 2022)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia, the world’s top nickel producer, will raise production capacity of the metal after prices soared past $100,000 a ton, while the coal market is unlikely to get similar relief.

The country is set to add 393,000 tons to 400,000 tons of nickel in metal output capacity this year, bringing the total to as much as 1.4 million tons, according to Coordinating Minister for Investment and Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan. Next year, Indonesia will add another 500,000 tons of annual production capacity, he added.

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