Archive | Nickel Laterites

Nickel mining indefinitely suspended in southern Philippines: official – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters U.S. – September 16, 2019)

MANILA (Reuters) – A nickel mining hub in the southern Philippines, which produces mostly high-grade material, has suspended extraction operations indefinitely as the regional government conducts an industry audit, a top government official told Reuters on Monday.

The government of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has suspended operations of all four mining companies in its jurisdiction, said Environment, Natural Resources and Energy Minister Abdulraof Abdul Macacua.

The Philippines was the world’s second-largest nickel ore producer in 2018 after Indonesia, with both Southeast Asian nations as the top two suppliers to biggest buyer China. Continue Reading →

Miners welcome Indonesian export ore ban, plan smelting expansion – by Mai Nguyen and Wilda Asmarini (Reuters U.S. – September 11, 2019)

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Large mining companies on Wednesday welcomed a recent decision by the Indonesian government to move forward a ban on exporting nickel ore, as the firms aim to increase smelting output.

Top nickel ore supplier Indonesia last month said the country will stop ore export from Jan. 1, 2020, pushing forward a ban by two years and raising concerns of supply shortage as well as causing financing issues for smaller players.

But major industry players gathering at the Asian Nickel conference on Wednesday said the ban would further support the development of the nickel processing industry in the country. Continue Reading →

Philippine regulator recommends lifting suspension on nickel miner (Reuters U.S. – September 11, 2019)

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines’ mining watchdog has recommended lifting the suspension of a small-sized nickel miner, one of several ore producers ordered in 2016 to halt operations in an industry-wide crackdown, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) recommended that Zambales Diversified Metals Corp – one of two nickel subsidiaries of DMCI Mining Corp – be allowed to resume mining operations, Environment Undersecretary Analiza Teh said.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) lifted the suspension order on DMCI Mining’s other nickel subsidiary, Berong Nickel Corp, in November last year. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Philippines H1 nickel ore output rises 3% despite mine shutdowns – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters U.S. – September 10, 2019)

MANILA, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Nickel ore output in the Philippines, one of the world’s top two producers of the material for stainless steel and batteries, rose 3% in the first half, government data showed.

Output was capped as half of the country’s mines were closed for maintenance or environmental reasons.

The Philippines sells most of its nickel ore to top buyer China. It produced 11.31 million dry metric tonnes of the material between January and June, compared with 11.01 million tonnes in the same period last year, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said on Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Cobalt 27 faces investor outcry amid accusations it’s selling ‘crown jewel’ assets at a loss – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 7, 2019)

Proposed buyout has some shareholders feeling like the company bought high and sold low as it tries to steer investors from cobalt to nickel

Toronto-based Cobalt 27 Capital Corp., which billed itself as an investment in the electric vehicle revolution, is facing outcries from some of its largest shareholders as it tries to sell its most valuable assets during a market low-point.

The company roared into the market in mid-2017 with an initial public offering, ultimately raising hundreds of millions of dollars to stockpile and acquire royalties on cobalt, an essential metal used in lithium-ion batteries. Within about a year the price of cobalt had hit a five-year peak, only to crash in the latter half of 2018 and never fully recover.

Now the company wants to steer its investors into nickel and to sell its main cobalt assets to its largest shareholder, Pala Investments. Other shareholders would receive $3.57 in cash, plus equity in Nickel 28, a new company that would hold the remaining assets including a stake in a nickel mine in Papua New Guinea. Continue Reading →

[Australia Raventhorpe Nickle Mine] Mining Albany for jobs – by Toby Hussey (The West Australian – September 4, 2019)

A surging nickel price has prompted the owner of a Ravensthorpe mine site to restart operations early next year, creating more than 350 jobs. First Quantum Minerals confirmed on Tuesday it would re-open its Ravensthorpe nickel operation in the next six months, with a region-wide job search beginning next week.

That search will include an Albany jobs fair on Tuesday, when senior First Quantum HR staff will explain the jobs available, skills required, and proposed rosters, and answer applicants’ questions.

The Albany Advertiser understands the company will be looking for employees with skills ranging from qualified electricians to non-qualified roles in administration, agriculture and transport. Continue Reading →

Indonesia sees surge in nickel-related exports after ore export ban – by Bernadette Christina (Reuters U.S. – September 4, 2019)

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s ban on nickel ore exports could boost the country’s earnings from the metal five-fold in the next five years through growth in industries such as stainless steel and battery materials, a minister said on Wednesday.

In a move that threatens to cut global supply, the world’s top nickel miner said this week it would stop nickel ore exports from Jan. 1, 2020, two years earlier than initially indicated, to promote more domestic processing.

Luhut Pandjaitan, a coordinating minister overseeing mining, said nickel-related export earnings will surge from last year’s $5.8 billion, with investment in processing pouring into the nickel-rich region of Morowali in Central Sulawesi province. Continue Reading →

Philippines’ nickel ore output hike unlikely to plug Indonesia supply gap – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters/ – September 2, 2019)

MANILA, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Philippine nickel mining companies are likely to boost ore production next year when Indonesia bans exports of the raw material used in stainless steel and batteries, but may still not be able to fill up the supply gap.

The Southeast Asian neighbouring countries are the biggest suppliers of nickel ore to China, the world’s largest stainless steel producer and home to some of the biggest makers of batteries for electric vehicles.

The ban will encourage Philippine miners to start ramping up ore output when the local mining season resumes next year, Dante Bravo, president of the Philippine Nickel Industry Association told Reuters. Continue Reading →

Nickel’s perfect bull storm as Indonesia bans exports again – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – September 3, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Whatever happened to that old market adage of buying the rumor and selling the fact? Nickel investors bought heavily into rumors that the Indonesian government was thinking about bringing forward a ban on nickel ore exports.

Now the ban has been confirmed for the start of next year rather than the original 2022 deadline, they have bought some more. London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel hit a five-year high of $18,850 per tonne on Monday with the Shanghai Futures Exchange scaling life-of-contract highs amid surging open interest.

Goldman Sachs added fuel to the bull fires with a forecast that the nickel price could spike to $20,000 over three months. An Indonesian export ban could impact up to 10% of global supply, according to the bank. Continue Reading →

Nickel Ore Export Ban Is Good for Indonesia: Vale – by Nur Yasmin (Jakarta Globe – August 27, 2019)

Jakarta. Vale Indonesia, the country’s largest nickel producer, said the government’s planned ore export ban will give the country a strategic advantage and bring positive impact to the local nickel industry and the Indonesian economy in the long term.

The government now wants the ban to start taking effect in October, three years earlier than the initial plan’s 2022 target.

The Indonesian Nickel Mining Association has voiced their objection to the plan, saying that it would disrupt their members’ contractual obligations and business plans. Continue Reading →

Papua New Guinea may shut Chinese-owned nickel plant after spill – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – August 29, 2019)

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A nickel processing plant owned by Metallurgical Corp of China (MCC) that spilled mine waste into Papua New Guinea’s Basamuk Bay faces compensation claims and possibly closure, the head of the country’s minerals authority said on Thursday.

MCC’s Ramu nickel plant located in Madang, on the country’s northeastern coast, spilled waste into the bay over the weekend which caused the surrounding ocean to turn red and left a muddy residue on the rocky shoreline, according to locals and photographs of the incident.

The spillage occurred when a plant operator did not notice a pump failure during a maintenance shutdown, causing a tank to overflow and mining waste to disperse into the ocean, Jerry Garry, managing director of PNG’s Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) said. Continue Reading →

Chinese-owned nickel plant spills waste into Papua New Guinea bay – by Melanie Burton and Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – August 28, 2019)

MELBOURNE/BEIJING (Reuters) – Waste from a nickel plant in Papua New Guinea owned by Metallurgical Corporation of China spilled into the adjacent Basamuk Bay over the weekend, three sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Locals noticed red discharge clouding parts of the bay that is next to the Ramu Nickel plant in Madang, Papua New Guinea, a local indigenous person who took photographs of the spillage told Reuters. The man declined to be identified because of the topic’s sensitivity.

The head of Papua New Guinea’s Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) said that its officials, as well as those from PNG’s Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA), had put together a preliminary report on the incident. Continue Reading →

Mystery nickel buyer could bring First Quantum’s Ravensthorpe back online – by Brian Sylvester (Northern Miner – August 26, 2019)

Northern Miner

First Quantum Minerals (TSX: FM; LSE: FQM) management says it could have a buyer for any nickel produced from a restart of the venerable Ravensthorpe nickel-cobalt mine at Bandalup Hill in Western Australia, but on a second-quarter earnings call, the company’s CEO, Philip Pascall, was intentionally vague about who that buyer might be.

Pascall cited increasing interest from a “not Congo source” that wants a “strategic source” of nickel. “We need it to be in production to be able to take advantage of that, but it’s profitable [at current nickel prices]. The cost to bring it back into production is very modest because of the work we’ve done sustaining it,” Pascall said.

After being peppered with several questions regarding Ravensthorpe from seemingly surprised analysts, Pascall said: “[The proposed buyer] would want to see it operating. The production levels … something over 20,000 tonnes for next year. But the actual start date at the moment is going to move up or down a month or two.” Continue Reading →

Western Areas sees strong competition for its nickel – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – August 20, 2019)

Western Areas has flagged hot competition for its nickel when off-take agreements with BHP expire early next year and says the mining giant has only a small window to make premiums from its new battery-focused nickel sulphate plant.

Dan Lougher-led Western Areas said on Tuesday that the rise in electric vehicles was driving keen interest in nickel concentrate from its operations in Western Australia in the countdown to off-take agreements with BHP Nickel West and China’s largest stainless steel maker, Tsingshan, expiring early in 2020.

The company has invited 19 parties to tender for new off-take agreements and says it favours short-term deals based on optimism that nickel prices will continue to strengthen on the back of demand from makers of batteries and battery precursors. Continue Reading →

Gina Lopez, Who Led Crackdown on Mines in the Philippines, Dies at 65 – by Jason Gutierrez (New York Times – August 19, 2019)

MANILA — Gina Lopez, a former environmental activist who introduced a broad crackdown on Philippine mining companies after she was appointed the country’s environmental secretary in 2016, died Monday at age 65.

Her death, from multiple organ failure, was confirmed by the ABS-CBN Foundation, a social development group in which she was the longtime chair.

The outspoken Lopez landed the job of acting environment secretary when President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016. And she wasted no time in going after major mining companies that she said had flagrantly violated the country’s environmental laws. Continue Reading →