Archive | Nickel

KGHM to shutter Sudbury-area mine – by Staff (Sudbury Star – January 17, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Blaming a long slump in metals prices, mining company KGHM on Wednesday announced it was shuttering its Levack Mine’s Morrison Deposit, throwing more than 100 people out of work.

“This is not an easy situation for the employees and families impacted,” general manager Steve Dunlop said in a release. “We are a small company and we all know each other quite well. This announcement hasn’t been a surprise for many of our people as this is a cyclical industry and we have been openly working with them on solutions to our financial challenges at Morrison — but that certainly doesn’t make this any easier.

“We were really hoping the mining sector would have recovered by now.” KGHM, a Polish-owned company, said the commodities market has been struggling and slow to recover, which is putting immense financial pressures on resource-based companies around the world and locally — as witnessed by cutbacks with other local operators in the past year. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Flash LME nickel squeeze may be a taste of things to come – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – January 16, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Nickel bears have been sent running for cover by this week’s ferocious squeeze on the London Metal Exchange (LME). Short-dated time-spreads have flexed out to levels not seen in many years as a long-running decline in LME nickel stocks translates into cash-date tightness.

The resulting bear rout has halted a six-month downtrend in the outright nickel price. Bulls, however, should not get overly excited. There is as yet scant evidence this was anything other than a flash squeeze rather than a signal for higher prices.

But that is not to say there won’t be more such spread tension in the nickel market going forward. That nickel should be squeezed this week is no accident. Today is the LME’s “third-Wednesday” prime prompt date, the monthly clear-out of outstanding positions. Continue Reading →

Sudbury sees spike in international delegations: Mining innovation drawing business travellers to community – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – January 15, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

The City of Greater Sudbury’s long history in mining is starting to have an effect on travel numbers, according to the city’s development corporation.

Over the past year more delegates have been coming to the city to not just meet and speak with companies and executives, but look at how the region has tackled mining as a whole, from prospecting and technology, to remediation and knowledge gathering.

“The numbers are increasing because Sudbury has a global reputation for being a mining innovation centre,” said Scott Rennie, project manager for Northern Ontario exports, Greater Sudbury Development Corporation in an interview. Continue Reading →

Vale in it for the long haul, says COO: Ricus Grimbeek talks future of nickel mining – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – January 11, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

The mining industry is rapidly moving toward digital technology, and Sudbury could be at the heart of it with careful planning, said Vale’s Ricus Grimbeek. The chief operating officer for Canada, the U.K, and Asian refineries was the guest speaker at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce President’s Luncheon Series on Jan. 10 at the Radisson hotel.

His message was clear: Vale has a decades-long plan to stay in the region, as well as help the city become the global hub of digital mining as it transforms the industry.

“I was talking to somebody and they said they thought there was maybe five good years of mining left here, and asked what I thought and I said, no,” he said. “They asked if it was less or more.” For Vale, he said the mining company is looking at at least 20 to 30 more years of production in the basin alone. Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s future exciting — and electric — Vale COO – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – January 11, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

When asked recently if he thought Sudbury could expect another five good years of mining, the answer Ricus Grimbeek gave was ‘no.’ It wasn’t, however, because the chief operating officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations feels activity will dry up sooner than that.

“I had my poker face on,” he told a crowd gathered for a Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday. “I believe there’s an amazing future here in Sudbury for the next couple of decades, not just the next five years.”

Driving that confidence is an expected boom in electric vehicles, which require copper and nickel for their batteries. Grimbeek, who hails from South Africa but now lives in Sudbury, said part of the reason he joined Vale was the opportunity “to absolutely impact the climate-change work we need to do as a society.” Continue Reading →

Greater Sudbury loses a mining legend, community activist – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – January 11, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Smiley is gone, but not forgotten. Sudbury lost a beloved father and husband recently, when Gord Slade passed away this week.

“Some of my earliest and most vivid memories were him taking us out into the bush — teaching us how to hunt, how to fish, teaching us all about nature,” son Fred Slade said Thursday. “He grew up in the bush, in northern Manitoba during the Depression.”

Born on Feb. 12, 1929, in Swan River, Man., Slade was one of 11 children. Most have passed away, but he is survived by his brother Johnny. Slade said growing up, they “lived off the land.” “They were 10 miles from the nearest town, on the side of the railroad tracks,” Slade said. In fact, the family’s homestead was so remote, Gord was homeschooled until he was 10 years old. Continue Reading →

Former Sudbury Falconbridge General Manager/President Gord Slade passes away (Sudbury Northern Life – January 9, 2019)

https://www.sudbury.com/

Gord Slade was a community leader

Gord Slade, a Sudbury community leader and philanthropist, died Jan. 8, just a few weeks before his 90th birthday.

Slade, a graduate of McGill University (1951), retired from Falconbridge Ltd. after 32 years of service in 1984. He held the post of president of the Canadian Nickel Division and general nanager, Sudbury Operations, after serving in areas of increasing responsibility.

In an interview for the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, Slade said, “My objective was to be a shift boss, make $10,000 a year and be as well liked as my dad.”

After retirement, Slade worked as a mining consultant and continued to participate on the boards of several mining corporations.

He was a leader in the Canadian Institute of Mining (Sudbury Branch chair, and vice-president for District 3), and was a recipient of the CIM Fellowship Award (1997). Continue Reading →

Nickel Outlook 2019: No Boom, but Batteries Loom – by Scott Tibballs (Nickel Investor News – December 23, 2018)

Nickel Investor News

Nickel was as hard hit as other base metals in 2018 as investor sentiment bled the markets, leading to lower prices even as demand increased. Analysts predict that nickel prices will stay low through to 2019, barring any significant improvements in the seemingly deteriorating US-China trade rhetoric.

Additionally, the much-touted battery metal boom might well not happen in any meaningful way for nickel in the near term, as markets learn more about just how far the electric vehicle (EV) industry has to go, and how quickly consumers need to adopt new technology for the boom to materialize.

New developments throughout Australia and headaches for miners in the Philippines dominated supply-side news, while demand meant that over the year stockpiles were drawn down. Continue Reading →

Japan’s Sumitomo Metal sees global nickel deficit nearly halving in 2019 (Reuters U.S. – December 25, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

TOKYO, Dec 25 (Reuters) – A global nickel market deficit will nearly halve to 49,000 tonnes in 2019 from 93,000 tonnes this year on higher output of primary metals by global suppliers and of lower-grade nickel pig iron (NPI) in Indonesia, Sumitomo Metal Mining said on Tuesday.

Sumitomo Metal, Japan’s biggest nickel smelter, said global demand for nickel is seen increasing by 3.4 percent in 2019 from this year to 2.339 million tonnes, while supply is expected to climb 5.5 percent to 2.29 million tonnes.

“We expect to see higher demand for stainless steel and rechargeable batteries next year,” Masanori Ohyama, general manager of Sumitomo Metal’s nickel sales and raw materials department, told reporters. Continue Reading →

Unfazed by market drubbing, Cobalt 27 continues dealmaking spree – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – January 3, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

On Tuesday, it announced at least its third major deal in the past 12 months: a proposed $96-million buyout of Highlands Pacific

Cobalt 27 Capital Corp.’s stock may be limping along, down more than 75 per cent in the past year, but the Toronto-based company focused on electric vehicles is continuing its dealmaking spree.

On Tuesday, it announced at least its third major deal in the past 12 months: a proposed $96-million buyout of Highlands Pacific Ltd., which owns a stake in a nickel and cobalt mine in Papua New Guinea.

Nickel and cobalt are both key components in the lithium-ion batteries found in electric vehicles as well as smartphones and other devices. Cobalt 27 has been acquiring streams on both metals from mines around the world, betting that growing sales of electric vehicles will turbocharge demand for both metals. Continue Reading →

Iron Range cities ready to welcome mining revival Matt McKinney (Minneapolis Star Tribune – December 30, 2018)

http://www.startribune.com/

As PolyMet, Twin Metals mines clear hurdles, cities hope for economic boost.

EVELETH, Minn. – At the new Boomtown Woodfire restaurant in this Iron Range city, diners can order the Steelworker prime rib with a Mesabi’s Best beer and, as the menu states, pay homage to the miners who dug the state’s mining industry out of a deposit of rich iron ore.

It’s a heritage many here hope will come roaring back, perhaps as soon as this summer, after officials granted the state’s first copper-nickel mine its final approvals last week.

“We’ve been talking for years about how to get ready,” said Biwabik Mayor Jim Weikum. “It’s been hard to keep people’s spirits up. You want people to be excited and to know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but it was a really long tunnel.” Continue Reading →

Inside the Coldest City in the World, Where It Snows 270 Days a Year – by Lucas Reilly (Mental Floss.com – December 26, 2018)

http://mentalfloss.com/

In much of the Northern Hemisphere right now, it’s getting colder and darker and the winter blues are setting in. But few places get it quite as bad as Norilsk, Russia, where residents won’t see a sunrise until mid-January. Worse yet, it’s arguably the coldest city in the world.

One of two Siberian cities built in the continuous permafrost zone, during the winter, the city of more than 175,000 people can see cold snaps as brutally low as -78°F. Overall, Norilsk boasts a yearlong average temperature of just 14°F. (Some will argue that the Siberian city of Yakutsk is colder, but that depends on how you want to slice it: Yakutsk is indisputably chillier in the winter—an average temperature of -42°F in January!—but it has much hotter summers and so, when measured by its yearly average, is warmer overall.)

Then there’s the snow. Norilsk “is covered with snow for about 270 days a year,” Vincze Miklós writes for io9, “and the inhabitants must deal with snowstorms one day out of every three.” Continue Reading →

Vale aiming to digitize operations: Battery-electric vehicle industry pushing transformation in Sudbury mines – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – December 20, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Nickel is in demand right now, and that’s largely thanks to its role in the burgeoning battery-electric vehicle sector. It’s good news for producers like Vale, but as the technology advances rapidly, one question remains: how can the miner produce enough of the metal to keep up with the industry?

“Our biggest concern, actually, is where does the nickel come from, and we don’t think we can build the plants fast enough, unless we find alternative, cheaper ways to actually start delivering that metal to market,” said Alistair Ross, the director of mining and milling for Vale’s North Atlantic base metals operations.

“We believe innovation is the access to that.” Speaking to mining supply and service providers during the Dec. 10 annual meeting of the Sudbury Area Mining Service and Supply Association (SAMSSA), Ross said Vale is working to digitize every stage of ore production, from exploration through to market, and do so “at the right cost.” Continue Reading →

Alistair Ross stepping down as head of Vale Canadian mining operations, including those in Thompson – by Kyle Darbyson (Thompson Citizen – December 13, 2018)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

Vale’s management structure in Canada continues to change with the company recently announcing that Alistair Ross will step down as the director of North Atlantic mining operations by the end of the month when his contract expires. According to a Dec. 11 Vale memo, Mike McCann, who has worked for the Brazilian mining giant in Sudbury for the last six years, will replace Ross Jan 1.

“Mike has done a superb job leading processing operations across the North Atlantic and Asia, delivering value projects and achieving production and safety improvements in a number of areas across our business,” said Ricus Grimbeek, chief operating officer for Vale Base Metals, in that memo. “I have every confidence that Mike will continue his track record of success leading our mining and milling operations.”

This move is the latest change to Vale’s Thompson management, which began back in July when Manitoba Operations vice-president Mark Scott’s position was eliminated. Ross was given the responsibility of overseeing Vale’s Canadian operations in Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador at that time. Continue Reading →

Norilsk Nickel to invest $12bn in production over next five years – by Nastassia Astrasheuskaya (Financial Times – December 10, 2018)

https://www.ft.com/

Russia’s metals and mining major Norilsk Nickel plans to invest more than $12bn in production development over the next five years in order to boost production volumes, the company’s chief executive officer Vladimir Potanin said Monday.

The world’s largest producer of palladium, and one of the leading producers of nickel, platinum and copper, thus signalled a change of strategy from flat output to growth amid stronger global demand for its products.

“We are implementing a rather unprecedented investment programme: we are investing more than $12 billion in production development in the next five years,” Mr Potanin told Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in a meeting, according to the Kremlin transcript. Continue Reading →