Archive | Nickel

Canada’s worst violent crime problem is in Thompson, Man. – by Shannon VanRaes (MACLEAN’S Magazine – November 19, 2019)

https://www.macleans.ca/

As the “Hub of the North” Thompson serves a regional population
of 55,000. The city’s airport is the second busiest in the province
and more than 40 remote communities—mostly First Nations and
Northern Affairs settlements—rely on Thompson for essential
services and commerce.

It’s the “machete kids” that worry Donnel Jonsson most. The property manager for Ashberry Place, a low-income apartment complex in Thompson, Man., has dealt with assaults, fires and even murder over the years. However, recent youth crime has him feeling unsafe, particularly along the city’s Spirit Way trail.

“Kids are going around and assaulting individuals walking the path, no reason why, they just come up to them and basically stab them or cut them across the face,” he says, pointing to a wooded section of trail below a 10-storey-high wolf mural.

This May, the city’s RCMP detachment indeed found itself investigating a stabbing spree that left five injured. In March, a machete-wielding home invader hacked a dog to death and in June, Thompson saw two stabbings and a machete attack in three days. Continue Reading →

Vale Manitoba operations to make case for $1-billion investment in Thompson mine (CBC News Manitoba – November 16, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/

It’s believed investment could expand mine’s lifespan by 25 to 30 years

The operators of the Vale nickel mine in Thompson, Man., are hoping a $1-billion investment could extend the mine’s life span by 25 to 30 years. Gary Eyres, head of Vale’s Manitoba operations, said the mine’s team has been stepping up its exploration efforts, including aerial and magnetic surveys, and believes there are large enough ore deposits to warrant the investment.

Eyres says he’s confident that somewhere along the Thompson nickel belt is the equivalent of another mine “just waiting to be found.” They want to be able to present their case for it in the next six to 12 months to the company’s owners in Brazil, Eyres said

“Everything that I’m doing at the moment and our teams here in Thompson are doing at the moment, is we’re focusing only on when this happens, rather than if it happens,” he said. Continue Reading →

Could there be a second Sudbury mining camp? – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 15, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Inventus Mining claims “breakthrough” that opens “new exploration frontier” in Sudbury Basin

An exploration company probing for nickel and other base metals on the outer fringes of the Sudbury Basin is claiming a “breakthrough” on one of its properties.

Inventus Mining Corp. said it’s found the same kind of rock formations on its Sudbury 2.0 property that’s known to host Sudbury’s “world class” nickel, copper and platinum group metals deposits.

In a Nov. 14 news release, Toronto-based Inventus heralds the “opening of a new exploration frontier” in the basin, based on the discovery of three offset dykes and a breccia belt more than 14 kilometres long. Continue Reading →

United States sitting out race to mine ocean floor for metals essential to electronics (CBS News – November 13, 2019)

https://www.cbsnews.com/

One of the most high-stakes races in history is underway, with colossal riches waiting for the winners. It’s a race to a little known frontier: the bottom of the sea. Around the world, thousands of engineers and scientists are in fierce competition to build the first undersea robot that can mine the ocean floor.

The explosion of interest in deep sea mining is driven by the demands of our high-tech economy. The deep ocean is the El Dorado that contains metals like nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements, essential for use in cell phones, supercomputers and electric cars. They’re also critical for a green future of solar and wind power.

Dozens of nations, including Russia and China, are racing to get there first. But not the United States. As Bill Whitaker reports, America must sit on the sidelines of this great treasure hunt. Whitaker’s report will be broadcast on the next edition of 60 Minutes, Sunday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT on CBS. Continue Reading →

Vale Manitoba Operations head believes there is an ore body equivalent to a new mine near Thompson – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – November 13, 2019)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

A proposed $1 billion investment in Vale’s Thompson mines in the next five years could generate nearly $8 billion in economic activity over the next 45 years, the company’s head of Manitoba Operations told the Thompson Chamber of Commerce Nov. 13.

“What we’re looking at is exploring our ore bodies,” said Gary Eyres, estimating that the proposed investment would be equivalent to opening a new mine in Thompson and saying that it is possible another mine shaft could be excavated down to as far as 6,300 feet. Right now, mining areas extend down to 4,800 feet below the surface. “We haven’t found the end of the ore body yet. Somewhere close by, I believe, is the next Thompson mine.”

If the investment goes ahead, it would result in $7.9 billion worth of economic activity between now and 2065, $7.4 billion more than putting the mines on care and maintenance until 2043 would create. It’s also $5.4 billion more economic activity than would be generated by simply mining out the current areas of T1 and T3 by 2043. Continue Reading →

Column: Fizzing nickel distracts from the LME Week metals gloom – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – November 4, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – “Near the bottom or worse to come?” The title of CRU Group’s panel discussion last Tuesday neatly sums up the downbeat mood of this year’s London Metal Exchange (LME) Week, the annual gathering of the world’s metals industry.

This time last year the cocktail party chatter was all about President Trump and the escalating trade war with China. One year on and the Sino-U.S. stand-off is still tantalisingly suspended between deal/no-deal (delete according to personal preference).

Industrial metal markets have paid the price for this year-long showdown. Political deadlock has accentuated China’s manufacturing slowdown and further depressed an already struggling global automotive sector. Continue Reading →

Ontario renewed funding push for Ring of Fire roads as viability of venture questioned – by Niall McGee and Jeff Gray (Globe and Mail – November 4, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The Ontario government appealed to Ottawa this summer to split a $1.6-billion construction bill for roads into the Ring of Fire region, despite mounting evidence the minerals project in the province’s North isn’t economically viable.

Documents reviewed by The Globe and Mail show that Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, sent an e-mail in July to a number of federal ministers asking for Ottawa to kick in as much as $779-million to roughly match Ontario’s contribution.

As part of his business case for investing in the Ring of Fire, Mr. Rickford referenced a number of often-cited huge financial projections about the project that have no supporting evidence. Continue Reading →

Minnesota Supreme Court won’t take up copper-nickel mining rules – by Jimmy Lovrien (Duluth News Tribune – October 29, 2019)

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a challenge by environmental groups over the state’s copper-nickel mining rules.

Environmental groups argue the Department of Natural Resources’ rules regulating the mining of metals that do not contain iron — such as copper, nickel and other precious metals — were too vague and, therefore, unenforceable. The DNR maintains the rules were strong yet flexible.

But in August, Minnesota Court of Appeals unanimously upheld those rules, and called the DNR’s non-ferrous rules “valid.” Six environment groups had filed the original appeal, but only two groups, the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case after the Court of Appeals upheld the rules. Continue Reading →

Copper prices seen stifled by growth fears next year: Reuters poll – by Eric Onstad and K. Sathya Narayanan (Reuters U.S. – October 28, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON/ (Reuters) – Prices of copper and other industrial metals are expected to be capped next year as weak economic growth weighs on the market, a Reuters poll showed.

The London Metal Exchange index of six base metals has inched up only 1% so far this year, held back by worries about a possible global recession and a trade war between the United States and top metals consumer China.

But the average is deceptive, because sharp gains for nickel of over 50% cover the fact that half of the metals are in the red, with losses of up to 15%. Continue Reading →

The Big Question in Metals Is What Happens Next to Nickel – by Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – October 27, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

While the fog of the trade war clouds the outlook for most commodities, battle lines are being drawn in the nickel market. On either side, traders and investors are lining up to bet on two diametrically opposed paths for prices.

The catalyst: Indonesia’s surprise move in late August to bring forward a ban on exports of unrefined ore. That’s set up conditions for a supply shortage, which triggered a rush to pull inventory out of warehouses. Freely available stockpiles on the London Metal Exchange are now the lowest in more than 12 years.

On one side, some traders are betting this is the start of a long-term, structural deficit that will propel prices sharply higher. Others argue there’s plenty of nickel available in the wider physical market and the market is about to nosedive. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s Vale earnings miss expectations, cites dam shutdown progress – by Christian Plumb and Roberto Samora (Reuters U.S. – October 24, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale (VALE3.SA) on Thursday reported a weaker-than-forecast 15% gain in quarterly earnings as the iron ore exporter tries to overhaul its operations to avoid a recurrence of the dam burst that killed more than 250 people in January.

Vale’s net profit rose to $1.654 billion from $1.408 billion in the year-ago period, missing the $2.72 billion mean of analysts polled by Refinitiv, as an increase in iron ore prices was partially offset by a slump in production following the incident.

Vale, which is still wrestling with the aftermath of the deadly dam collapse near the town of Brumadinho, said it was making progress with its effort to decommission, or shut down, other such dams as Chief Executive Eduardo Bartolomeo reiterated the company’s “commitment to safety.” Continue Reading →

On ‘Island’ in Russian Arctic, Arrival of Fast Internet Shakes Political Calm – by Anton Troianovski (New York Times – October 21, 2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Residents of Norilsk long felt isolated from their country’s turbulence. Then a mining company strung a fiber-optic cable across 600 miles of tundra.

NORILSK, Russia — On a screen, the California sun beams through the palm fronds and the Walk of Fame gleams underfoot. This island of mines and smokestacks in the tundra has high-speed internet now, so Andrei Kurchukov watches videos about America.

Videos by one of his favorite YouTube personalities, Marina Mogilko, feature interviews with fellow Russian expatriates in the United States. “Los Angeles,” she tells her one million followers, is “where Russian dreams come true.” “I watch her and think, alas,” Mr. Kurchukov said. “So what we’re showing about the rotting West is false.”

Closed to foreigners, unreachable by road and shrouded in darkness for 45 days a year, Norilsk, an Arctic nickel-mining hub of 180,000, is Russia’s most isolated major city. Lacking reliable digital communication with the rest of the country — “the continent,” they call it — residents used to fly home with external hard drives full of downloaded books and movies after their trips out. Continue Reading →

METALS-Shanghai nickel rises on low stockpiles, Nornickel accident – by Mai Nguyen (Reuters U.S. – October 23, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SINGAPORE, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Shanghai nickel prices rose on Wednesday, tracking gains overnight in London, buoyed by supply concerns amid falling inventories and following an accident at major nickel producer Nornickel’s mine in Siberia.

The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) rose as much as 4.8% to 132,210 yuan ($18,668.72) a tonne, after benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) climbed 2.5% in the prior session. The Shanghai contract ended up 3% at 129,970 yuan a tonne.

Nickel stocks in LME-approved warehouses MNISTX-TOTAL fell to 87,132 tonnes, hovering around their lowest since November 2011, latest data showed, while ShFE nickel inventories have picked up recently SNI-TOTAL-W. Continue Reading →

Nickel Relives The Failed Attempt By The Hunt Brothers To Corner Silver – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – October 20, 2019)

https://www.forbes.com/

Attempts to “corner” a metal market invariably end in tears, if not jail time, which is what happened with silver in 1980 and copper in 1995, so when the market in nickel “inverted” last week warnings were issued that an old game was being played in one of the new generation of battery metals.

The term inverted essentially means that the short-term price of a product, whether a metal or a government bond, rises above the long-term price, which is unnatural and a sign of trouble ahead. An inverted bond yield can be interpreted as a recession pointer.

Three Brothers And A Silver Plan

Silver had its crisis when three brothers who were heirs to the Hunt Oil fortune acquired, or attempted to acquire, one-third of the global supply of the metal. Continue Reading →

OPINION: The Ring of Fire bulldozer is here. Will it work? – by Charles Cirtwill (Northern Ontario Business – October 2, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

It is possible, after all, to see the Ring of Fire as the only option for a new future for many communities.

During the provincial election, then candidate (now Premier) Doug Ford famously promised to come to the Ring of Fire and drive a bulldozer if that was what was needed to get the development moving. With the abandonment of the Framework Agreement and the return to individual nation-to-nation arrangements, he has done just that.

It is clear that the province has determined, after years of effort by at least three different governments, that the way forward is in working with willing partners. In this way, key pieces of infrastructure can be put in place while negotiations continue in other parts of the region. In the end, the hope would be that the pieces fit together into a cohesive whole.

It is equally clear that at least some of the First Nations in the region share this view. This may be because of their relative need for new investment. It is possible, after all, to see the Ring of Fire as the only option for a new future for many communities. Continue Reading →