Archive | Nickel

COLUMN-Sanctions fever grips nickel as market rethinks Russia risk – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – April 20, 2018)

LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) – Sanctions fever has spread to nickel. With Russian aluminium producer Rusal imploding in the wake of U.S. sanctions against its oligarch owner Oleg Deripaska, attention is now turning to the status of another Russian industrial powerhouse, Norilsk Nickel.

Deripaska is a 27.8 percent shareholder in Norilsk, while the oligarch behind the world’s number two nickel producer, Vladimir Potanin, is himself on a U.S. Treasury Department list of Russians deemed to be close to the Kremlin.

Fears that Norilsk might follow Rusal down the U.S. sanctions path have sent London nickel prices on an extraordinary rollercoaster ride. But this was a market primed for an explosive breakout, with all sorts of technical drivers kicking in once it started rallying. Continue Reading →

Is Norilsk Nickel too big to sanction? – by Henry Foy and Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – April 19, 2018)

Is Norilsk Nickel too big to sanction? That is a question on the lips of investors and analysts as they ponder which companies might be next on the White House’s Russian sanctions list.

The company, based in the world’s most northern city that gives the group its name, certainly thinks size might be a key factor in deterring US president Donald Trump from placing one of the biggest metal producers on the list.

Like the large banks in the financial crisis deemed too big to fail, the company may be right in thinking that size matters as its nickel and palladium supplies are crucial to western manufacturers for products from cars to batteries. Continue Reading →

BHP Billiton to produce nickel sulphate next year, eyeing cobalt on battery boom – by Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – April 18, 2018)

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – BHP Billiton is expanding its business as a supplier of battery minerals at its nickel refinery in Western Australia, planning to start producing nickel sulphate next year and looking at cobalt output as well, a company executive said.

Cobalt and nickel are both critical ingredients for lithium ion batteries, and are expected to see a boom in demand as global automakers transition into producing electric vehicles.

Most of the world’s cobalt supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which has been beset by governance and human rights concerns. After the DRC, Australia has the world’s second-largest mineral reserves. Continue Reading →

Major Russian polluter pledges to turn over a ‘green’ leaf on national television – by Anna Kireeva and Charles Digges ( – April 17, 2018)

In a wide ranging appearance on Russian national television, Vladimir Potanin, the president of Norilsk Nickel, a long-time, heavy-duty polluter, made the case that his company has turned over a new leaf, and hitched its future to producing “green” products in an environmentally friendly manner.

Potanin’s remarks were pitched first and foremost to car manufactures, who are themselves in the process of revamping their own production to account for tighter worldwide emissions standards and boosting their offerings of electric and hybrid vehicles.

But he also provided the first look at how the Siberian industrial giant plans to reel in its pollution – a clear nod to environmentalists who have long demanded that the company detail its approach to staunching harmful emissions. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Nornickel exec says in talks with battery makers on investments, cooperation – by Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – April 18, 2018)

SHANGHAI, April 18 (Reuters) – Russia’s Norilsk Nickel , or Nornickel, is in talks with battery makers over possible investment in its mining assets, but is also interested in downstream joint ventures in return, a company executive said on Wednesday.

“We might be interested in having some deeper cooperation, say on the battery side, and building a more complete value chain,” Anton Berlin told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a battery materials conference in Shanghai.

Nornickel is looking for “more than just an offtake (sales) agreement,” he said, adding that a downstream joint venture in China would be a possibility. Discussions are at an early stage however, and the company is “not in any rush,” he said. Continue Reading →

[Al Chislett] Money didn’t change Voisey’s Bay discoverer, son says (CBC Newfoundland and Labrador – April 16, 2018)

Brad Chislett says his dad was passionate about province, continued to enjoy the outdoors

As the Newfoundland legislature paid homage Monday to a mining pioneer who died last week of cancer, the man who called Al Chislett dad said he will miss the adventures and the conversation.

“My father was my best friend. I grew up idolizing him as a child because he was such a self-reliant man,” Brad Chislett told CBC Television’s Here & Now.

“As an adult we got to know each other very personally, working together as business partners, going on a lot adventures together, exploring Labrador, Newfoundland and travelling across the world. I’m just going to miss his company.” Continue Reading →

Botswana’s Tati Nickel Mine out of liquidation after court ruling (Reuters U.S. – April 11, 2018)

GABORONE, April 11 (Reuters) – Botswana’s High Court has taken Tati Nickel Mine out of provisional liquidation, dismissing a request for more time to negotiate with potential buyers, the liquidator said on Wednesday.

Tati — a subsidiary of the liquidated BCL mine group — has since October 2016 been under provisional liquidation, which was twice extended after liquidator Nigel Dixon-Warren asked for more time to pursue a deal with investors.

The High Court took the company out of liquidation on Tuesday following the lapse of the last extension. Continue Reading →

Production ramping up again at Sudbury Vale’s Coleman Mine – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – April 11, 2018)

Spring may still seem postponed, but work has finally resumed at Coleman Mine in Levack. Operations were suspended before Christmas for repairs to an underground ventilation compartment, idling many workers on temporary layoff.

That was initially supposed to last just a month or two; instead, the shutdown dragged on nearly five months. Now, however, it’s business as usual at the Vale facility.

“The entire workforce is back at the mine working on regular shifts,” said Angie Robson, manager of corporate and aboriginal affairs, in a message to The Star. She said employees were called back in mid-March for training and crews are now “performing value-added work in the orebodies, with production ramping up later this week.” Continue Reading →

1995 PDAC Bill Dennis Prospector of the Year Award for the Voisey Bay Nickel Deposit – Albert E. Chislett and Chris L. Verbiski – by Stan Sudol

Chris Verbiski & Al Chislett (Wiki Source)

This excerpt is from the 2007 PDAC 75th anniversary publication.

Originally looking for diamonds in 1993, Albert Chislett and Chris Verbiski instead discovered one of the world’s major nickel sulphide deposits near Nain, Labrador. The Voisey’s Bay deposit was eventually bought and developed by Inco Limited. Most experts agree that the deposit will be a major source of nickel and regional prosperity for generations to come.

Chislett was born in Islington, Trinity Bay Nfld. in 1949. After studying business administration at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto and working in the accounting department at Swift Premium in Ontario for five years, he established a successful construction company in St. John’s Nfld., and operated it for fifteen years.

His interest in geology and mineral exploration began in the late 1980s, stemming in part from his love of the outdoors. In 1988 he started operating an independent mineral exploration company and began prospecting full time. He was soon one of the most active prospectors in the province and was the first to receive a provincial prospector’s assistant grant. Continue Reading →

Al Chislett, co-discoverer of Voisey’s Bay, dies at 69 (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – April 9, 2018)

Originally from Heart’s Delight-Islington, Chislett died of cancer

Al Chislett, the co-discoverer of the massive Voisey’s Bay nickel deposit in northern Labrador, has died in St. John’s at the age of 69.

Chislett, who with Christopher Verbiski discovered Voisey’s Bay in 1993, had been battling cancer. Before he died, he had been receiving care at the Miller Centre in St. John’s. He was originally from Heart’s Content-Islington but later lived in Conception Bay South.

The nickel deposit at Voisey’s Bay proved to be one of Canada’s most substantial mineral discoveries. The two men, who co-owned prospecting company Archean Resources, found the deposit while working for Diamond Fields Resources Ltd., which was later acquired by Inco Ltd. Continue Reading →

Prospect of growth intensifies debate about PolyMet tailings dam – by Josephine Marcotty (Minneapolis Star Tribune – April 7, 2018)

Questions over whether the state is demanding the highest possible environmental and safety standards in the rebirth of a 1950s-era tailings dam are growing more urgent just as Minnesota’s first proposed copper nickel mine is reaching the final stage of regulatory approval.

Throughout the last decade of environmental review and bitter debate, the $1 billion project by PolyMet Mining Co. has always been anchored to a 2.5-square-mile taconite basin near Hoyt Lakes that would eventually hold hundreds of millions of tons of ore processing waste — perhaps for centuries.

Environmental groups, which have long argued that the design is risky, have now made it a primary focus of their request for a legal review of the project that is now awaiting a decision by state officials. Continue Reading →

The move to EVs will take time, but the shift in commodity demand will be ‘dramatic’ – Gareth Penny (Metal Bulletin – April 4, 2018)

In a comprehensive interview with Andrea Hotter in the April 2018 issue of Metal Market Magazine, Norilsk Nickel chairman Gareth Penny gave his predictions for electric and hybrid vehicle growth and how the company will move to maximize the value of its products.

As the electrification of the global economy continues to increase demand for the metals that Norilsk produces, particularly nickel and cobalt, Penny predicts a dramatic shift in commodity demand patterns.

“Like most of these things, the move to EVs will take longer than people think, but when the time arrives, it’ll be even more dramatic,” he says. Continue Reading →

‘Deep will be the new norm’ — Glencore spends $1B to find new ore beneath Sudbury – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – April 5, 2018)

First ore expected in about 4 years, with full production by 2025

Glencore is spending nearly $1 billion to mine new ore underneath Sudbury. The Onaping Depth project was announced at the same time as Vale revealed plans to go ahead with its multi-million dollar expansion of Copper Cliff Mine, also known as “Copper Cliff Deep.”

“I think deep will be the new norm and certainly in Sudbury, that’s where the future lies,” said Peter Xavier, Glencore vice-president of Sudbury operations.

The deposit is located 2,500 metres beneath the mothballed Craig Mine in Onaping and was found in the 1990s. Xavier says it’s taken years of planning to figure out how to mine safely and economically at that low level. Continue Reading →

Nickel reserves in Murmansk Region’s mine sufficient for decades to go ( – April 3, 2018)

MURMANSK, April 3. /TASS./ The Severny mine, the main supplier of raw material to the Kola MMC (part of Norilsk Nickel), will be developed until 2060, the Kola MMC’s Deputy Director General Konstantin Nesterov told TASS.

“The company’s plans focus on – further development of the southern underground section and opening of the next horizon – 740 meters,” he said. “Thus, we shall extend the mine’s work to approximately the 2060s.”

The company did not specify the stock’s amounts. According to the Kola MMC, in 2017, the company’s geologists completed a unique project – they made a large digital model of the Severny mine. The audited all mining operations, installed new software, and all data from paper sections and plans were converted into the digital format. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Is there an electric accelerator to falling nickel stocks? – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – April 3, 2018)

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) – Stocks of nickel held in London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses MNI-STOCKS fell by 46,344 tonnes, or 12.6 percent, over the first quarter.

The downtrend has been running for seven consecutive months but there has been a marked acceleration since the start of January.

Cancellation activity, metal being taken off warrant in anticipation of physical load-out, has also been elevated. There were 54,294 tonnes of net new cancellations last month, most of them at the Malaysian port of Johor. Continue Reading →