Archive | Nickel

U.S. Sanctions Are Driving Russian Billionaires Into Putin’s Arms – by Yuliya Fedorinova, Ilya Arkhipov and Evgenia Pismennaya (Bloomberg News – September 20, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The Trump administration is helping Vladimir Putin achieve a goal that’s eluded him for almost two decades—getting Russia’s billionaires to start repatriating some of their assets.

Relatively muted sanctions imposed during the Obama era over the conflict in Ukraine have only widened in scope and severity since Trump took office last year. The unpredictability of both the White House and Congress is forcing Russians to move money into state-run banks and rejig the offshore superstructure that’s sheltered fortunes here since communism’s collapse.

Tycoons and their executives say the rush to move assets beyond the reach of the U.S. Treasury started with the biggest enterprises in April, when Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg and their companies lost billions within hours of being hit with the harshest penalties to date. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-Nickel’s “electric premium” crushed by trade tensions – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – September 18, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Nickel has finally succumbed to the base metals price rout. It is still the best year-to-date performer among the core six metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME)

But at a current $12,400 per tonne, LME three-month metal is, like the rest of the pack, now trading below year-start levels. The excitement around the potential boost to nickel demand from its use in electric vehicle batteries hasn’t been completely dispelled.

But the “electric premium” in the price has been crushed by the broader market concerns about the escalating trade stand-off between the United States and China.

The tensions between nickel’s electric future and the metal’s current stainless steel reality are all too evident and if anything are going to become more acute the further the price falls. Continue Reading →

Glencore awards Onaping Depth contract to Cementation Canada – by Staff (Sudbury Star – September 19, 2018)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Canada Inc. said Tuesday it has been awarded the design and construction of the new internal underground shaft for the Onaping Depth Project at Craig Mine. The mine is part of Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Sudbury INO).

“Onaping Depth has been an iconic project for us and we have worked very closely with Sudbury INO over the years to evaluate and provide the shaft designs and methodology that combine safety with value,” Roy Slack, president of Cementation Canada, said in a release. “We are thrilled that the project is going ahead and are very excited to be Sudbury INO’s main contractor and design engineer for this shaft project.”

Cementation Canada did not say how much the contract was worth. Glencore, however, has freed up $700 million for Onaping Depth. Production at Onaping Depth expected to begin in 2023 — and go fully online by 2025. Continue Reading →

New Voisey’s Bay royalty calculation agreed on – by Marleny Arnoldi (MiningWeekly.com – September 17, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

TSX-listed Altius Minerals and Nasdaq-listed Royal Gold have entered into an agreement with Vale Canada to settle litigation related to the calculation of the royalty in respect of all concentrates produced from the Voisey’s Bay mine, in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Voisey’s Bay 3% net smelter return royalty is directly owned by the Labrador Nickel Royalty partnership, of which Altius is a 10% owner and a subsidiary of Royal Gold is a 90% owner.

The parties agreed to a new method for calculating the royalty regarding concentrates processed at Vale’s Long Harbour processing plant, which will be effective for all Voisey’s Bay mine production after April 1 this year. Continue Reading →

Canadian mining industry says goodbye to ‘turnaround man’ Bill James – by Robin de Angelis (CBC News Sudbury – September 17, 2018)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

The man credited with making mining company Falconbridge Ltd. a success in the 1980s has passed away. William “Bill” James died on September 4, at the age of 89.

James took the helm of Falconbridge at a time when the company was losing millions of dollars each week due to flagging metal prices. He cut jobs and corporate spending, eventually making the company an attractive target for a takeover for Noranda.

Ed Thompson, a board member with the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, remembers working with James for almost 50 years. “He was a very forthright, honest man,” Thompson recalled. Continue Reading →

$1 billion later: Vale completes its Clean AER project: Superstack to be decommissioned as miner reduces emissions by 85% – by Arron Pickard (Sudbury Northern Life – September 14, 2018)

https://www.sudbury.com/

The largest single environmental investment in Greater Sudbury is now complete. Vale celebrated the completion of its $1-billion Clean Atmospheric Emissions Reduction project on Friday, achieving an 85-per-cent reduction in previous sulphur dioxide emissions and a 40-per-cent reduction in metal particulate emissions.

Dave Stefanuto, director of projects for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations, said the completion of the has been 10 years in the making, and was no small undertaking. This size and scope of the project was massive, considering the company continued to operate with no interruptions.

“We began in earnest in 2008, and broke ground in 2012, but the project has evolved over the years,” Stefanuto said. “We decided to move to a single furnace operation in 2013, which resulted in a greater reduction in emissions we had originally estimated.”

There are three core elements to the project: new converters in the smelter facility; the new wet gas cleaning plant, and; a new secondary baghouse facility. Continue Reading →

Vale celebrates completion of emissions reduction project – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – September 15, 2018)

 

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Scientist David Pearson still has a vivid memory of a “bad air day” when he was getting out of his car at Laurentian University in the early 1970s, prior to the Inco Superstack being built.

“I ran from my car to get in the building,” he recalled, during a press conference Friday at the Vale Copper Cliff Smelting Complex. “It was not a pleasant experience.” Friday’s event marked the end of the mining company’s six-year, $1-billion Clean Atmospheric Emissions Reduction project.

It involved the construction of two new converters, which have special hoods to capture sulphur-dioxide gas, and a new wet-gas cleaning plant that captures 85 per cent of the sulphur-dioxide emissions previously emitted by the Superstack.

As well, Clean AER introduced a baghouse/fan building that acts like a giant vacuum cleaner, reducing metals particulate emissions by 40 per cent, and a pair of new 450-foot stacks that will be more efficient to operate than the Superstack. Continue Reading →

Japan’s Sumitomo to focus on battery material supply to Panasonic, Toyota – by Yuka Obayashi and Ritsuko Shimizu (Reuters U.K. – September 13, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd (SMM) (5713.T) plans to focus on two key customers for its battery materials, Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Panasonic Corp (6752.T), supplier of car power packs to Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), SMM’s new president said.

While Toyota and Panasonic are already SMM’s biggest customers, rising sales of electric cars – led by Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 – mean the Japanese miner and smelter is in a sweet spot it needs to protect.

SMM has spent 37 billion yen (254.44 million pounds) over the past four years to boost capacity of the nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) cathode materials used in Panasonic’s lithium-ion battery that powers Tesla’s Model 3 and Model X. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Nickel price to benefit from short supply, strong steel demand through 2019 – by Fergus Jensen (Reuters Africa – September 12, 2018)

https://af.reuters.com/

JAKARTA, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Slower production increases in leading supplier Indonesia and continued growth in stainless steel demand are forecast to extend a supply shortage in the global nickel market, supporting price gains through 2019.

Nickel, which recently hit its lowest since December, could climb as high as $16,000 a tonne by the end of 2018 and $18,000 a year later, Macquarie Capital senior commodities consultant Jim Lennon said on the sidelines of the MetalBulletin 6th Asian Nickel Conference in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Nickel has been supported by stainless steel demand growth that exceeded 9 percent in the first half of 2018, Lennon said. But concerns have emerged in recent months that global growth has peaked against the backdrop of an evolving trade war between the United States and China, dampening the outlook for the 2.2-million-tonne per year global nickel market, he said. Continue Reading →

Local court to decide Norilsk claim on BCL – by Allan Seccombe (Business Day – September 11, 2018)

https://www.businesslive.co.za/

Russia’s largest mining company in mineral rights dispute with Botswana group and liquidation leader

The success of Norilsk Nickel’s $277m claim against Botswana’s BCL miner and refiner, which is in liquidation, will be decided in an SA court that must find on the merits of a mining right awarded to BCL.

In an acrimonious dispute in which Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining company and a leading source of palladium, has tried to shred the reputation of Botswana as Africa’s most highly regarded mining destination, there has been a standoff between the Russian company and Nigel Warren-Dixon of KPMG Botswana, who is leading the BCL liquidation.

In 2014 Norilsk struck deals with BCL to sell its 85% stake in Tati nickel mine in Botswana and its 50% stake in SA’s Nkomati Nickel to the state-run nickel producer for $337m. The price was later dropped to $277m. Continue Reading →

[Royal Nickel] Toronto miner unearths boulder that contains 9,000 ounces of gold in Australia, worth about $15M – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 11, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Rare is the story of a modern mining company that unexpectedly strikes a mother lode of gold.

But Toronto-based junior mining company Royal Nickel Corp. announced Sunday night that its employees in Australia at the Beta Hunt mine — which the company has been trying to sell since April — removed a golden boulder like few others in the world: Within a single cube of earth that measured roughly three meters wide, three meters long, and three meters deep, they found 9,000 ounces of gold including two large lumps — all told worth around $14 or $15 million at current prices. That’s equivalent to roughly 40 per cent of RNC’s $35 million market capitalization as of last week.

“It was a nickel mine for years and years,” said Mark Selby, chief executive of RNC. “But we bought it because there were a bunch of gold deposits sitting beneath it.” Royal Nickel stock surged 83 per cent to $0.16 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday. Continue Reading →

Defeat for Minnesota wilderness protection means back to business for mining – by Josephine Marcotty (Minneapolis Star Tribune – September 10, 2018)

http://www.startribune.com/

The federal government’s sudden decision to reopen mineral exploration just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was a resounding defeat for wilderness advocates. But for the mining industry, it means back to business as usual.

By 2016, when the U.S. Forest Service adopted the temporary ban on exploratory drilling, mining companies had already poked thousands of holes in the ground in northern Minnesota in a decadeslong hunt for copper, nickel, platinum and other precious metals.

Now, the grinding sound of the drill rigs in 234,000 acres of the Superior National Forest around Ely will resume and, over the next few years, probably increase, say those in the industry. More importantly, the decision to lift the ban makes it more likely that at some point all that exploration will result in a mine. Continue Reading →

Feds Lift Roadblock to Copper Mining Near Boundary Waters (Associated Press/Voice of America – September 6, 2018)

https://www.voanews.com/

MINNEAPOLIS — The Trump administration on Thursday lifted a roadblock to copper-nickel mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northeastern Minnesota, reversing a decision made in the final days of the Obama administration.

The Obama administration in late 2016 withdrew around 234,000 acres of the Rainy River watershed near Ely from eligibility for mineral leasing pending a two-year study, citing the potential threat from acid mine drainage to the nearby Boundary Waters, the country’s most-visited wilderness area. The move could have led to a 20-year ban on mining and prospecting on the land.

The most immediate beneficiary is Twin Metals Minnesota, which hopes to build a copper-nickel-precious metals mine south of Ely. It plans to submit its first formal mining plan to regulators in the next 18 months. Continue Reading →

Journo’s new book shines light on nickel – by Josh Chiat (Kalgoorlie Miner – September 6, 2018)

https://thewest.com.au/

A pioneering mining journalist who bore witness to the Goldfields’ first nickel boom as a reporter at Kalgoorlie’s ABC bureau believes there is a bright future for the cyclical base metal.

Ross Louthean came to Kalgoorlie-Boulder as a young journalist from Port Pirie in the late 1960s and witnessed the onset and development of the famous Kambalda nickel district.

He also lived in the region through the Poseidon crash — the nickel exploration boom in the 1970s which prompted the regulation of Australia’s stock markets after a reported find near Laverton fuelled by speculation pumped shares in penny stock Poseidon Nickel to more than $280 a share in a matter of weeks. Continue Reading →

Changes at Vale contribute to uncertain mood in Thompson (Thompson Citizen – August 29, 2018)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

As Thompson reaches the end of the month that it was dreading for years, if not quite since the smelter and refinery closure plans were first announced in 2010, there’s a feeling that we might not be through the worst of the adjustment yet.

Over this summer, Vale has announced changes to its Manitoba Operations, including the elimination of Mark Scott’s former role as the vice-president in Thompson and the shifting of responsibility for overseeing the mine to Alistair Ross, the company’s new North Atlantic mines director.

A few weeks later, the maintenance shutdown was extended by three to four weeks to preach the importance of safety after some potentially dangerous incidents. Continue Reading →