Archive | Nickel

[Kambalda, Australia] Mining town faces loss of bank, doctor, petrol station as it fights for survival – by Jarrod Lucas (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – July 15, 2018)

http://www.abc.net.au/

What would happen if your town lost its bank, doctor’s surgery, and petrol station within the space of a few months? That is the prospect facing the residents of a West Australian mining town which boomed during the 1960s and 70s but is now facing a fight for survival.

Kambalda was built on the discovery of nickel in 1966 and Australia’s first nickel sulphide mine, known as the Silver Lake shaft.  Fly-in, fly-out was not allowed in the early days, but it has slowly crept into the community in recent years with the construction of a workers’ camp.

The decade since the global financial crisis struck has not been kind to Kambalda, with its population falling from 2,689 to 2,539 between the 2006 and 2016 Census polls.

Town hit by closure of four nickel mines Continue Reading →

Electric vehicle demand will double nickel price – as soon as 2022 – by Frik Els (Mining.com – July 9, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

After a gravity-defying run, nickel has now also succumbed to weakness in the industrial metals complex as global trade fears mount, declining to $14,125 per tonne on Monday.

The metal, mainly used in stainless steel manufacture, is down 10% or more than $1,600 a tonne from more than three-year highs hit on the LME a month ago.

Nickel is still up by 62% compared to its June 2017 lows, mostly on the back of falling inventories in top consumer China. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange nickel stocks have dropped for 24 straight weeks while LME warehouses are the emptiest since mid-2014. Continue Reading →

Cobalt, lithium and nickel are booming due to China’s insatiable appetite for electric vehicles – by Jane Li (South China Morning Post – June 30, 2018)

http://www.scmp.com/

World prices of cobalt, lithium and nickel are booming as China’s insatiable need for the battery packs used in electric vehicles drove up demand, recreating the economic bonanza that fuelled commodity-exporting countries a decade ago.

The price of lithium, a soft silvery white metal usually mined from brines, has soared by more than 300 per cent in the past two years. The price of cobalt, mostly mined as a by-product of nickel and copper, surged 129 per cent last year while nickel surged 4.6 per cent to a two-year high in London.

At the centre of the boom is China’s support for developing electric vehicles (EV) to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Electric vehicles made up a mere 2.3 per cent of the 30 million vehicles produced last year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. That proportion may quintuple to 12 per cent by 2025, according to a forecast by JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s analyst Nick Lai. Continue Reading →

GRAPHIC-Inventory draws highlight nickel shortages, buttress prices – by Pratima Desai (Reuters U.K. – June 28, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) – Two years ago the chances of a nickel price recovery seemed remote, but that mindset has changed as shrinking stocks and falling supplies have created a bullish backdrop for the stainless steel ingredient.

Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange recently hit $16,690 a tonne, the highest since December 2014, after falling to 13-year lows below $8,000 a tonne in February 2016.

A retreat to around $15,000 a tonne was triggered by fears of a trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies. However, prices are still up about 70 percent since June 2017 when expectations of deficits began. Continue Reading →

London court backs Deripaska in battle of Russian tycoons – by Barbara Lewis and Polina Devitt (Reuters U.S. – June 27, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska got a boost on Wednesday in a long-running battle for control of Norilsk Nickel when a high court judge ruled fellow investor Roman Abramovich did not have the right to sell shares in the miner to a third businessman.

Deripaska, who controls aluminum giant Rusal (0486.HK), wants to stop Abramovich from selling Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) (GMKN.MM) shares to Russian businessman Vladimir Potanin, saying that would violate a 2012 shareholder agreement.

At London’s High Court, Judge Stephen Phillips ruled such a sale by Abramovich, the owner of England’s Chelsea soccer club, breached the terms of that shareholder pact. Continue Reading →

$23M program aims to create skills, on-the-job training for Indigenous peoples (CBC News Newfoundland-Labrador – June 26, 2018)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/

Voisey’s Bay mine expansion creates hundreds of new job opportunities

Newfoundland and Labrador is teaming up with the federal government on a new $23.6 million-program designed to get more Indigenous people working at the Vale mine in Voisey’s Bay.

On Tuesday, officials from the Nunatsiavut government, Innu Nation, NunatuKavut, Vale, and the federal and provincial governments came together with the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to announce the project.

It’s being led by the Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership (LATP), and will help train workers for the mine, by giving them hands-on training experiences and skills development. Continue Reading →

Mineral deposits at Voisey’s Bay ‘exquisite,’ says geology professor – by Terry Roberts (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador -June 19, 2018)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/

Experts call Labrador operation ‘perfect battery metals mine’

Questions about the fate of mining operations at Voisey’s Bay over the past year have been replaced by unbridled hope and enthusiasm.

A green light for a multibillion-dollar underground expansion, a lifespan extended by many years, a workforce that will nearly double, and an operation poised to capitalize on what many expect will be an explosion in the demand for electric vehicles in the coming years.

You only need to pick up a metallurgical core sample from Voisey’s Bay to understand what all the hype is about, and you don’t need to be a geologist to know you’re holding something unique. Continue Reading →

Editorial counterpoint: On mining, let’s follow facts and the law – by Anne Williamson (Minneapolis Star Tribune – June 19, 2018)

http://www.startribune.com/

Anne Williamson is vice president of environment and sustainability for Twin Metals Minnesota.

The June 10 editorial “Mining near BWCA is risky business” expressed concern about recent information released by Twin Metals Minnesota regarding the underground copper-nickel mining project in northeastern Minnesota that the company is designing.

Twin Metals recognizes environmental protection and conservation as a core value. It’s only natural. After all, we live here, grew up here and have family here. And that is why we are designing a project proposal that will meet all state and federal environmental laws and protective standards.

Twin Metals also agrees with the Star Tribune Editorial Board’s call for “agencies to conduct a rigorous, technology-driven and independent analysis” of the proposal. Continue Reading →

Cleantech’s next heat wave could come from Smarter Alloys – by Tyler Hamilton (Globe and Mail – April 18, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Tyler Hamilton works with cleantech companies from across Canada as an adviser with the non-profit MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.

When we burn fuel to power vehicles and machinery, drive industrial processes or generate electricity, most of the energy in this fuel is dumped into the atmosphere as heat.

In one 2016 study, German researchers estimated that 72 per cent of global primary energy consumption – that is, using coal, oil, natural gas and uranium as fuel – is lost as waste heat. Most of this heat is rated “low grade,” meaning it’s less than 100 C.

It includes the heat emitted from data centre server farms and the warm air that flows out the back of your kitchen refrigerator or air conditioner. Continue Reading →

Super Batteries: Which Metal Will Fuel the Future? – by Georgia Williams (Nickel Investing News – June 13th, 2018)

Nickel Investing News

There has been a lot of discussion around which battery metal will reign supreme in the push to bring electric and hybrid vehicles to market. Currently lithium, nickel and cobalt are the heavyweight contenders, but what is next?

At the 6th International Nickel Conference, the Investing News Network caught up with Jon Hykawy, president of Stormcrow Capital, a research firm specializing in guiding and educating its clients on taking advantage of volatility in the critical materials and technology markets.

He shared his insight about the future of the battery metals sector and which energy metal will play a vital role in the next stage of battery evolution. Hykawy also explained why there is slow and cautious momentum towards packing batteries with more energy. Continue Reading →

Workers say goodbye to Vale smelter and refinery in ‘bittersweet’ closing ceremony – by Kyle Darbyson (Thompson Citizen – June 12, 2018)

http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

‘A big hit emotionally for everybody working there,’ says union president

Vale Manitoba Operations hosted a closing ceremony for its smelter and refinery June 9 with workers and others paying tribute to facilities that are almost as old as Thompson itself.

This event took place at the main plant site, and featured a barbecue, children’s activities, speeches from local dignitaries and a tour of the facilities themselves.

While regular production won’t be permanently shut down until July 31, Vale Manitoba Operations manager of corporate affairs Ryan Land thought it was important to put this event together while everything is still up and running, since it gave their family members the chance to get a closer look at the facilities that produced “the world’s best nickel for about 57 years.” Continue Reading →

Wheaton Precious Metals CEO says company ‘taking a gamble and investing in cobalt’ – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 13, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

A deal with Vale over cobalt marks the first time that Wheaton Precious Metals has moved outside the gold and silver space

Cobalt has given the Voisey’s Bay mine — one of the world’s largest nickel deposits — in Newfoundland and Labrador a new lease on life this week in yet another sign of the growing influence that the electric vehicle industry already exerts on global supply chains.

Brazilian giant Vale SA on Monday announced it will sell most of the mine’s future cobalt production for US$690 million to finance a long-delayed $1.7-billion expansion, which will add an underground component to the mine and extend its life by 15 years.

Cobalt, long considered an industrial metal used as an alloy in jet engines and natural gas turbines, is increasingly in demand for use in lithium-ion batteries. Forecasts that the electric vehicle industry is set for major growth over the next decade have increased cobalt prices by more than fourfold during the past two years to US$80,000 per ton. Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s nickel in demand again – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – June 13, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

It’s the type of metal needed for electric cars

In the first half of 2017, nickel was selling for an average price of US$4.43 a pound and there was an increasing glut of nickel in London Metal Exchange warehouses. On Aug. 31, that glut reached a whopping 389,154 tonnes. Fast-forward to today and it’s a totally different picture.

Last week, LME nickel stockpiles had shrunk to 278,800 tonnes. The metal also broke through the US$7-a-pound mark last week — a gain of about $1.50 pound since last December. Nickel started the day Friday at $7.10 pound, but had dropped to $6.96/pound U.S. by the end of the day, and has dropped a bit more since then.

Terry Ortslan, mining analyst with TSO & Associates in Montreal, said a combination of the weakening of the U.S. dollar and hoarding by traders in anticipation of nickel needed for electric vehicles is causing rising prices and inventory drops. Continue Reading →

Electric-vehicle frenzy sweeps up once-unloved metal: nickel – by Amrith Ramkumar (Wall Street Journal/Toronto Star – June 12, 2018)

https://www.thestar.com/

The speculative fever for electric-car metals is pushing to nearly four-year highs prices for nickel — a key ingredient in stainless steel.

Nickel is the top industrial metal and among the best-performing assets of 2018, with futures contracts on the London Metal Exchange up 21%, as battery manufacturers, mostly in China, and investors across the world hoard the metal in anticipation of a shortage.

For years, nickel was one of the worst-performing commodities as supply far outpaced demand from industries like auto manufacturing and construction. Its dramatic rally this year is the latest sign of the hype surrounding emerging technologies like car batteries. Continue Reading →

‘Momentous’: Vale gives green light to Voisey’s Bay mine expansion – by Holly McKenzie-Sutter (Globe and Mail – June 12, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

“More than half of the work force in the remote area accessible
by plane is Inuit or Innu, while more than 80 per cent of
contracts are with Indigenous-owned and operated businesses.”

Brazilian mining company Vale says it will proceed with construction of an underground mine at Voisey’s Bay, N.L., extending operations by at least 15 years and creating 1,700 jobs. Construction is to begin this summer and take about five years.

“A great day for Newfoundland and Labrador and a great day for Vale,” Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball said in St. John’s, N.L. Also on hand for what Ball declared a “momentous” announcement was Vale executive Eduardo Bartolomeo, Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady and former premiers Clyde Wells, Brian Tobin and Roger Grimes.

Once operational, Ball estimates the underground mine will create an additional 1,700 jobs in the mine and at the Long Harbour, N.L., processing plant. Continue Reading →