Archive | Nickel

An electric vehicle warning and outlook for lithium, cobalt, nickel – by Peter Kennedy (Resource World – February 21, 2018)

http://resourceworld.com/

It is no secret that speculation in the mineral exploration is currently being driven by optimistic forecasts about the market penetration of electric vehicles and the future impact on demand for lithium ion batteries. That, in turn, is driving investor interest key battery ingredients, including lithium, cobalt and nickel.

But in a new report, BMO Capital Markets says battery costs may not come down as fast as many analysts have predicted.

As a result, it says that although it is difficult to accurately predict the pace of transition from fossil fuel-powered ICEs (internal combustion engines) to EVs (electric vehicles), BMO believes its best case estimate of a 10% penetration rate by 2025 (a 30% compounded annual growth rate) is reasonable. Continue Reading →

Glencore records $14.76 billion profit (Bloomberg News/Sudbury Star wire service – February 22, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Glencore Plc surprised investors with a bigger dividend on the back of surging profit and commodity prices, but is still stockpiling cash as dry powder for future deals.

“We’re generating $10 billion of free cash flow on current commodity prices,” said Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg. “There is room if and when we want to do any acquisitions.”

Glencore nearly tripled its dividend payout to $2.9 billion and reported full-year results largely in line with expectations. The results leave Glasenberg well positioned to continue doing what he knows best — deals. While competitors such as Rio Tinto Group shied away from dealmaking last year, Glencore announced acquisitions worth more than $4 billion in copper, oil, zinc and coal. Continue Reading →

Rusal’s Deripaska to Step Down and Focus on Norilsk Nickel – by Staff (Aluminium Insider – February 20, 2018)

https://aluminiuminsider.com/

Russian Federation industrialist Oleg Deripaska is to step down from his position as president of both En+ Group and U.C. Rusal, Russian and international media reported.

While RUSAL clarified that no such decision has been made yet and that the Company’s board will discuss executive changes on 22 February, sources told the media earlier this week that Deripaska will announce his departure from these two pursuits, retaining only his official capacity at GAZ Group, which is Russia’s premier producer of commercial vehicles. According to insiders, the move was in the works prior to news of the renewed fight for Norilsk Nickel.

The battle to control Norilsk has been an off-again, on-again affair for the last decade that began upon the exit of Mikhail Prokhorov from the firm. Prokhorov, who was Vladimir Potanin’s partner in the venture the time of his departure, left a partial ownership void when he stepped down in 2008. Although Potanin had his sights set on acquiring the then-unclaimed share of the enterprise, Deripaska’s Rusal purchased the interest instead. Continue Reading →

Record fine fails to impress Sudbury widow – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – February 21, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

It no longer exists, but the company that owned and operated Lockerby Mine has been fined a record $1.3 million for the deaths two miners in May 2014. However, the widow of one of the miners said the financial penalty was meaningless, since First Nickel Inc. went out of business in 2016.

“It’s a joke,” Romeena Bisaillon, Norm Bisaillon’s widow, said in an interview after court closed Tuesday. “They (First Nickel) are not here. The company went bankrupt. There is no one to be held accountable for it …

“It doesn’t matter if it’s $1.3 million or $1.30. It’s the same thing. There is nobody going to pay for it.” Norm Bisaillon, 49, and Marc Methe, 34, who worked for Taurus Drilling Services, were killed in the fall of ground. First Nickel had hired Taurus Drilling for production mining work at Lockerby. Continue Reading →

Australian Mines shares surge on cobalt deal with SK Innovation – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – February 20, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Shares of battery and technology metals developer Australian Mines Ltd surged on Tuesday after the company signed an off-take agreement with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation for nickel and cobalt from its flagship Sconi project.

The commodity off-take agreement, which is for an initial period of seven years, will be for SK Innovation’s newly developed battery manufacturing plants in Hungary and Korea, Australian Mines said on Monday in a statement announcing the deal.

The agreement is contingent on Australian Mines obtaining financing for the project in Australia’s far north east by the end of 2018 and for mining to start before the end of 2020. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Nickel flies on supply hits; Indonesia could ground it – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Nickel has enjoyed a blistering start to 2018. On the London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel has this week punched up through the $14,000 level for the first time since May 2015 to hit a Thursday high of $14,420 per tonne.

It has gained 10 percent since the start of the year and has bounced 34 percent from its December low of $10,740 per tonne. Speculative money has poured into this hot market, fund managers tripling their net long exposure LME-NI-MNET to the London contract over the course of December and January.

Shanghai investors have been equally enthusiastic, albeit with a Chinese twist of treating nickel as a bullish steel rebar derivative. Nickel is basking in the electric vehicle glow but the full demand impact is still in the future. Continue Reading →

[Norilsk Nickel] Deripaska in Faceoff With Abramovich in London Court – by Yuliya Fedorinova and Jess Shankleman (Bloomberg News – February 16, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Potanin have revived a years-old battle for control of the country’s biggest mining company, MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC.

The two tycoons each own roughly 30 percent of Norilsk Nickel and have long jockeyed for power in the company, which operates some of the richest mines in platinum, palladium and nickel, until President Vladimir Putin intervened in 2012. An agreement let a company controlled by Roman Abramovich buy a small stake in Norilsk Nickel in exchange for a promise to keep the peace.

Abramovich’s Crispian Investment Ltd. now wants to sell part of the stake, according to three people familiar with matter. The holding was about 5 percent at the start of 2017, implying a current value of more than $1.5 billion. Continue Reading →

In Duluth, more concern about copper-mining impact – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – February 8, 2018)

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

Supporters of the proposed PolyMet project won the field Wednesday night in Aurora on the Iron Range, but on Thursday evening in Duluth opponents of Minnesota’s first-ever copper mine made their case.

About 1,500 people attended the public meeting on permits for the proposed mine — about two-to-one against the project — with dozens on both sides speaking at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

It was the second of two meetings held to take public comments on the most important of 21 permits PolyMet needs in hand before it can begin to mine copper, nickel and other valuable metals near Babbitt and process them in an old taconite plant near Hoyt Lakes. Continue Reading →

Analysis: Southeast Asian nickel ore producers may miss the boat on EV demand – by Eric Yep (Platts.com – February 8, 2018)

https://www.platts.com/

Two key Southeast Asian nickel ore producers that shaped the market in recent years — the Philippines and Indonesia — are poorly placed to take advantage of a boom in battery demand from the growing electric vehicles market.

Their predicament stems from the lack of technology and investment needed to produce Class 1 battery-grade nickel sulphate — a direct outcome of the regulatory policies enforced by the two countries in recent years.

Two years ago, the Philippines and Indonesia were two of the world’s largest producers of nickel ore, accounting for a third of global production. The type of nickel laterite ore produced by them largely feeds the steel industry in China. Continue Reading →

Voisey’s Bay poised to capitalize on demand for cobalt, but Vale silent – by Terry Roberts (CBC News NL – February 06, 2018)

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

Sources say ballistic surge in cobalt prices makes underground mine project more likely

A ballistic surge in the price of cobalt could mean positive things for Labrador’s Voisey’s Bay mine, but if executives at Vale are excited, they certainly aren’t saying.

Reuters is reporting that the Brazilian mining giant, which owns the Voisey’s Bay mine and processing facility at Long Harbour, Placentia Bay, is looking to cash in on cobalt.

The international news agency is reporting that Vale is looking to sell unmined cobalt, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to investors and that could be a positive sign as the company decides whether to proceed with an underground mine at Voisey’s Bay. Continue Reading →

GRAPHIC-China demand and tight supplies set to sustain nickel price rally – by Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.S. – January 30, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – A combination of surging China imports, tighter supplies and fund interest are expected to sustain prices of stainless steel ingredient nickel, which have reached their highest level in more than two years.

Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange hit $14,040 a tonne on Monday, the highest since May 2015 and a gain of more than 55 percent since June.

“The fundamental story for nickel has started off well and it is looking good for at least the next couple of years,” said Wood Mackenzie analyst Adrian Gardner. Wood Mackenzie forecasts a deficit of between 80,000-90,000 tonnes this year following a deficit of similar levels in 2017. Continue Reading →

A small town in Quebec could power the next wave of electric cars – by Ashley Renders (Vice News – January 30, 2018)

https://news.vice.com/

But Sudol doubts recycling would satisfy the demand for batteries.
The global population is growing and people want cell phones, cars,
urban transportation and a higher standard of living—all of this
is metal intensive, says Sudol. If we can’t dig for these metals
in a place like Quebec, which has strong restoration policies and
labour laws, “then where on Earth are we going to get these metals?”
he asks.

In other words, as long as car companies and cell phone companies
are clamoring for battery metals, Sudol sees only two options:
child miners in the DRC or rule of law in Quebec.

A small town in Northern Quebec could hold the keys to a future where electric vehicles are the norm.

A Toronto-based mining company called RNC Minerals Corporation wants to build a “battery metals” mine near Amos, Quebec, a town of less than 13,000 people that sits on the largest untouched deposit of nickel sulphide and cobalt in the world, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data cited by a company report. Continue Reading →

China ‘tweaks’ nickel import taxes to favour electric vehicles, Wood Mackenzie says – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – January 18, 2018)

Northern Miner

In mid-December, China made adjustments to import taxes on some nickel products that favour the production of electric vehicles.

Starting from Jan. 1, the import tax on nickel sulphate — a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries — was slashed to 2% from 5.5%, Wood Mackenzie says in a new report, while the tax on imports of nickel cathode for smelting purposes jumped from 1% to 2% (but it remained at the lower end for cathode more suited to plating and sulphate applications).

“With local sources pointing to the fact that over 60% of imported nickel sulphate is used in the production of ternary materials for NCM/NCA batteries, it is evident that China is laying the ground to support her capabilities in this field,” Wood Mackenzie states. (Lithium-ion batteries are composed of three parts: NCM batteries contain nickel, manganese and cobalt oxide, while NCA batteries contain nickel, cobalt and aluminum oxide.) Continue Reading →

WoodMac urges automakers to ‘get out their chequebooks’, secure energy metal supplies – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – January 17, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Auto manufacturers are ramping up strategies to cash in on the accelerating worldwide acceptance and demand for electric vehicles (EVs), prompting advice from research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie for automakers to ‘get out their chequebooks’ and take stakes in mines or new mine projects to lock-in future supply.

WoodMac issued a statement on Tuesday, following news that Ford will boost its investment in EVs to $11-billion between 2015 and 2022 – a sharply higher figure than a previously announced target of $4.5-billion by 2020.

Ford also revealed plans to expand its electrified portfolio to include 40 electrified vehicles globally, including 16 full-battery EVs by 2022. It outlined plans to accelerate investment in EVs and sportd utility vehicles (SUVs). Continue Reading →

Top China Nickel Producer Joins BHP in Prepping for EV Boom (Bloomberg News – January 18, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

China’s top nickel supplier aims to boost output of a material used in car batteries by 40 percent this year, joining the ranks of global producers ramping up operations to meet demand from electric vehicles.

Jinchuan Group Co. expects to raise production of nickel sulphate to 70,000 metric tons from 50,000 tons in 2017, Simon Bao, vice general manager of its marketing unit, said in an interview in Shanghai. The country is already the world’s largest automotive market and sales of new-energy vehicles may hit 1 million in 2018 after topping 700,000 last year, according to manufacturers.

“While physical demand hasn’t picked up too significantly yet, it may surge in about two years,” Bao said Tuesday. The company is able to raise sulphate production without any technical barriers, he said, adding that nickel cathode output will be kept at 135,000 tons this year. Cathode is used in stainless steel. Continue Reading →