Seeking Alpha

Nickel Monthly News For The Month Of November 2019

by: Matt Bohlsen
Matt Bohlsen
Investment advisor, portfolio strategy, growth at reasonable price

Nickel spot prices were lower in November, and the LME inventory hits a 10-year low at only 67k tonnes.

Nickel market news - China's GEM eyes nickel, cobalt output from Indonesia by August 2020. China's Huayou sees Indonesia nickel, cobalt project start up in 2 yrs.

Nickel company news - New CEO at BHP, and searching for a new CEO at Glencore. Independence Group makes off-market takeover bid for Panoramic Resources.

Welcome to the nickel miners news for November. The past month saw nickel prices lower despite LME inventories falling further to only 66,820 tonnes.

Nickel price news

As of November 28, the nickel spot price was USD 6.38, down from USD 7.66 last month. LME inventories fell again to very low levels (now 67kt) reaching a 10-year low. Chinese stainless steel companies have been building up their nickel inventories in preparation for the 2020 Indonesia ore ban.

Nickel spot prices - 5-year chart - USD 6.38/lb

5 Year Nickel Prices - Nickel Price Chart


London Metals Exchange [LME] - Nickel inventory at a 10-year low


Nickel demand vs. supply

The chart below shows nickel is forecast to be in deficit after ~2020-2022 (or at least require new supply to come online).

Source: Wood Mackenzie

Note: Some others such as BMI have been forecasting a nickel surplus by 2020 due to increased Indonesian production and reduced Asian demand.

On November 4, Fastmarkets reported:

Nickel market must focus on class 1 material to sate battery appetite. Fastmarkets research expects more than 500,000 tonnes of nickel to be used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025, compared with 100,000 tonnes in 2018. Stainless steel demand for nickel is set to grow by 5% in 2019, while Fastmarkets anticipates that battery demand for nickel will increase to a 15% market share by 2025 from 4% currently.

As a reminder, the November 2017 McKinsey report stated:

If annual electric vehicle [EV] production reaches 31 million vehicles by 2025 as expected then demand for high-purity class 1 nickel is likely to increase significantly from 33 Kt in 2017 to 570 Kt in 2025."

Note: That is a 17-fold increase in just 8 years, albeit only on Class 1 nickel.

Nickel demand from EVs set to surge 5x from 2020 to 2025

Source: Fastmarkets

Investors can also read my past article: "Top 5 Nickel Miners To Consider Before The Nickel Boom."

Nickel Market News

On November 4, Nasdaq reported:

China's GEM eyes nickel, cobalt output from Indonesia by August 2020. Chinese battery firm GEM Co Ltd (002340.SZ) expects to start trial production at its Indonesian nickel and cobalt plant in August 2020. The plant is expected to start full operation by the end of next year. The plant being built by GEM and its partners - which include stainless steel and nickel maker Tsingshan, a unit of Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd [300750.SZ], and Japanese trading house Hanwa Co Ltd 8078.T - is sited in Indonesia's Morowali Industrial Park and will be the country's first to produce chemicals for use in batteries for electric vehicles. The plant will have the capacity to treat 50,000 tonnes a year of nickel raw material, to produce 20,000 tonnes of mixed hydroxide precipitate and 30,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate.

On November 5, Reuters reported:

China's Huayou sees Indonesia nickel, cobalt project start up in 2 yrs. Zhejiang Huayou, China's top cobalt maker, expects its nickel and cobalt processing plant in Indonesia to start production in two years. It plans to produce at least 60,000 tonnes of nickel content a year...... an executive at GEM Co said a similar project in the same park would start trial production in August 2020. Both projects feature Chinese nickel and stainless steel giant Tsingshan Holding Group.

On November 6, Fastmarkets reported:

'Driving range anxiety' to propel nickel-rich battery development - Ronbay chairman says. Nickel-rich lithium ion batteries, such as the nickel-cobalt-manganese [NCM] 811, offer a distinct advantage in terms of greater driving range and energy density. For these reasons, Bai expects production of such batteries to experience a meaningful uptick from 2021 onward. "In the future, NCM 811 lithium-ion battery will be more suitable for medium-and-high end electric vehicles which are required to travel [at least] 500 kilometers per charge."

On November 19, Investing News reported:

Indonesia hopes to approve battery-grade nickel plants soon. The government of Indonesia hopes environmental impact studies for factories to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals will be complete by the end of 2019.

On November 19, Investing News released a video: "Anthony Milewski: Exceptionally bullish on Cobalt, Nickel."

Nickel Company News


Vale S.A. (VALE)

Vale plans a US$1.7B Voisey's Bay expansion plan to boost their nickel production.

On October 30, Vale SA announced:

Vale informs on approval for the withdrawal of its ADSs listing by Euronext Paris."

On November 19, Vale SA announced:

Vale redeems bonds maturing in 2022. Vale S.A. announces that it has notified bondholders of the redemption of all of its bonds maturing in 2022, the outstanding value of which is US$ 908,365,000.00 and the redemption will be made on December 19th, 2019.

Norilsk Nickel (LSX: MNOD) (OTCPK:NILSY)

On October 28, Norilsk Nickel announced:

PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel successfully places a USD 750 million Eurobond offering maturing in October 2024.....with an annual coupon rate of 3.375%. The proceeds from the issue will be used for general corporate purposes.

On October 31, Norilsk Nickel announced:

Norilsk Nickel group announces preliminary consolidated production results for nine months 2019. In 3Q19, consolidated nickel production increased 7% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) to 57kt, almost all of which was produced from own Russian feed. The growth was mainly attributed to increased production at Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta as the refinery recovered its capacity utilization rate to normal after the scheduled maintenance carried out in 2Q19. In 9M19, consolidated nickel production increased 6% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 167kt, with nickel output from the Company's Russian feed totaling 164kt, up 6% y-o-y.

On November 11, Norilsk Nickel announced:

Board of Directors recommends interim dividend for 9M 2019....of RUB 604.09 per ordinary share (approximately USD 9.48 at the RUB/USD exchange rate the Russian Central Bank as of November 11, 2019), totaling RUB 95.59 bn (approximately USD 1.5 bn).

On November 18, Norilsk Nickel discussed their 10-year strategic vision. Key highlights include:

  • A strategic ambition has been set for Taimyr operation, holding more than 2 billion tonnes of ore in mineral resources, to increase mined ore volumes by 75% to 30 million tonnes per annum.
  • 2030 strategic ambitions for the annual production of core metals have been set as follows: 15-30% growth of nickel production to 250-280kt, copper - 20-40% growth to 520-560kt, and combined palladium and platinum growth of 30-95% to 160-205 t.
  • Long-term strategic ambitions assume successful development of recently approved South Cluster mining project, realization of new brownfield projects at the core Talnakh deposit, further upgrades and debottlenecking of downstream assets, and phased development of Arctic Palladium JV...
  • At Phase-1 of scaling up construction works CAPEX is steadily growing from USD 2.5-2.8 billion in 2020 to USD 3.0-3.4 billion in 2021, reaching an investment peak of an average up to USD 3.5-4 billion per annum in the period of 2022-2025. In 2026-2030, CAPEX is scheduled to decrease back to historical average level of less than USD 2 billion per annum.
  • The Company believes that dividends should moderate in 2023-2025. Once the new projects enter cash generation phase post 2025, dividends should recover.

Investors can read my article "An Update On Norilsk Nickel."


In 2017, BHP announced a US$43.3m investment in its Nickel West project to enable conversion to nickel sulphate.

On November 14, BHP Group announced:

Mike Henry to become BHP Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 January 2020. Mr Henry will assume the role of CEO and Executive Director effective 1 January 2020, replacing Andrew Mackenzie who will retire as CEO on 31 December 2019.

Jinchuan Group [HK:2362]

On November 20, Jinchuan Group announced:

Continuing connected transactions and revision of annual caps. The Company anticipates that the maintenance work, the bagging and loading work and the mining services, which are currently being provided by Jin Gang to Kinsenda Mine, will be expanded to the Group's other mining operations in the DRC and Zambia.


On October 28, Bloomberg reported:

Who will be the next CEO? Outgoing CEO Ivan Glasenberg wanted his successor to look "like me," and the main aspirants do. The three most likely choices are Gary Nagle, Kenny Ives and Nico Paraskevas. Glencore's dealings in Nigeria, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo are under investigation in the U.S., and that has triggered speculation the CEO may step aside sooner than he has envisaged.

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. (OTCPK:SMMYY)

On November 18, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. announced: "2nd quarter of fy2019 progress of business strategy." The report is quite detailed but still a good read. The chart below (slightly out of date now) shows the nickel inventories are falling rapidly.

A summary chart of Sumitomo's main revenue drivers copper and nickel


Anglo American [LSX:AAL] (OTCQX:AAUKF)

On November 11, Anglo American announced:

Investor visit to Anglo American's bulks business... We are today upgrading our 2019 production guidance for Minas-Rio by a further 10% - with a proportionate decrease in unit costs - while also providing volume guidance for the next three financial years, as well as long term volume and unit cost potential. "We believe our iron ore, met coal and nickel businesses are well set to meet future demand trends, particularly in relation to the high quality of their products. Through attractive resource characteristics, beneficiation and blending, we offer our customers a reliable supply of niche steelmaking products with low levels of contaminants, thereby helping steel plants meet ever tighter emissions standards.

You can view a company presentation here.


On November 4, Eramet announced:

Eramet: Launch of a tender offer to repurchase its bonds due November 2020 subject to the success of a new bonds issue of a minimum amount of 300 million euros.

On November 4, Eramet announced:

Eramet: Success of the tender offer to repurchase the bonds due November 2020 and of the new issue of bonds for an amount of 300 million euros.

Sherritt International (OTCPK:SHERF)[TSX:S]

On October 30, Sherritt International announced - 'Sherritt reports financial results for Q3 2019'. Highlights include:


  • Sherritt's share of finished nickel and cobalt production at the Moa Venture (Moa JV) in Q3 2019 were 4,139 tonnes and 436 tonnes.
  • Excluding $77.3 million of cash and cash equivalents held by Energas, Sherritt ended Q3 2019 with cash and cash equivalents of $92.0 million. Sherritt's consolidated cash position of $169.3 million at the end of Q3 was down from $176.8 million at the end of Q2 2019. The change in Sherritt's liquidity was due to a combination of factors, including interest paid on outstanding debentures and the lower receipt of Cuban energy payments.
  • Excluding the impact of stock-based compensation and depreciation, administrative expenses declined by 6% to $28.6 million on a year-to-date basis from $30.3 million for the nine-month period of 2018.
  • Received $11.6 million in dividend distributions from the Moa JV, indicative of strengthening nickel and cobalt prices in the quarter.
  • Q3 2019 Adjusted EBITDA(1) was $21.1 million, the highest quarterly total since Q3 2018 when $37.7 million was generated. The year-over-year decline was driven by the 61% decrease in realized cobalt prices.
  • Consistent with its strategy to focus oil and gas operations in Cuba, Sherritt sold its working interest in a natural gas field in Pakistan."

Independence Group [ASX:IGO] (OTC:IIDDY)

On November 1, Independence Group announced: 'IGO maximises value of its Nova concentrate through offtake agreements.' Highlights include:

  • Strong demand for Nova concentrate has resulted in materially improved terms than in current offtake agreements.
  • Nickel concentrate agreements are being finalised with equal volumes to be awarded to Trafigura Pte. Ltd [Trafigura] and BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd [BHP].
  • Copper concentrate agreement for 100% of the production awarded to Trafigura.
  • Completion of pre-feasibility on the IGO downstream nickel sulphate process [The IGO Process™] demonstrating a technologically advanced and cost competitive process for converting nickel sulphide concentrate directly to nickel sulphate.
  • Decision not to progress to a detailed feasibility study on the IGO downstream nickel sulphate facility given the materially improved commercial terms achieved via new offtake agreements..."

On November 4, Independence Group announced:

Off-market takeover bid for Panoramic Resources. Independence Group NL is pleased to announce its intention to make an off-market takeover offer [Offer] to acquire all of the ordinary shares of Panoramic Resources Limited [ASX:PAN] [Panoramic] it does not already own [Panoramic Shares]. IGO's Offer is 1 IGO Share for every 13 Panoramic Shares held.

Western Areas Ltd. [ASX:WSA](OTCPK:WNARF)

No news for the month

Panoramic Resources [ASX:PAN] (OTCPK:PANRF)

Panoramic's Savannah mine and mill have a forecast life of mine average annual production rate of 10,800t of nickel, 6,100t of copper, and 800t of cobalt metal contained in concentrate.

On October 31, Panoramic Resources announced: 'Quarterly report for the period ending 30 September 2019.' Highlights include:


  • ...Concentrate shipments-two concentrate shipments from Wyndham, aggregate provisional value of A$19.5million.
  • Revenue-positive final QP pricing adjustments of A$4.1 million received due to the increased US$ nickel price.
  • Mining-total lateral development of 1,054m, up 21% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Processing-average nickel recovery of 85.1% is now at target.
  • Metal production-1,342t Ni, 855t Cu and 64t Co in concentrate, Ni down 12%, Cu up 5% on previous quarter.....
  • Savannah North Upper Zone Resource infill drilling-better than expected results returned including the interection of significant high-grade mineralisation outside the existing Ore Reserve."


  • Group Cash - $20.2million in available and restricted ($180k) cash.
  • Capital Raising - $27.2million net proceeds received from two for eleven Pro-Rata Rights Issue at 28c per new Share.
  • Board and management changes announced."

On November 3, reported:

Australian nickel miner Independence Group on Monday launched a hostile A$312 million ($216 million) takeover bid for smaller peer Panoramic Resources and said it had appetite for more, given demand for new energy metals. IGO made an all-scrip offer for the 96.2% of shares in Panoramic Resources Ltd it does not already own, pitching the bid at a steep 42% premium to Panoramic's closing price on Friday.

Independence Group looks to takeover Panoramic Resources


On November 6, Panoramic Resources announced: "Sale of Thunder Bay North Project-further extension on signing definitive agreement."

On November 22, Panoramic Resources announced:

Update on off-market takeover bid for Panoramic Resources. IGO expects its Bidder's Statement to be mailed to Panoramic shareholders on Monday 25 November 2019, at which point the Offer will be open for acceptance. Panoramic shareholders are encouraged to ACCEPT the OFFER and an information line has been established to answer any queries.

Nickel Mines Ltd. [ASX:NIC]

On October 31, Nickel Mines Ltd. announced:

Quarterly activities report for the quarter ended 30 September 2019. Hengjaya Nickel and Ranger Nickel RKEF projects combine for 10,000 tonnes of nickel metal production.


On November 6, RNC Minerals announced:

RNC announces strong third quarter 2019 results including production of 24,216 oz, adjusted earnings of $8 million and reiterates second half 2019 guidance... Maiden Proven and Probable gold reserve at Beta Hunt on track to be delivered in 4Q19.

Axiom Mining [ASX:AVQ] (OTC:AXNNF)

No news for the month.

Other nickel producers

Franco-Nevada [TSX:FNV] (NYSE:FNV), MMG [HK:1208], South32 (OTCPK:SOUHY) [ASX:S32], Lundin Mining (OTCPK:LUNMF) [TSX:LUN], Nickel Asia Corporation [PSE:NIKL] (OTC:NIKAY).

Note: First Quantum Minerals [TSX:FM] (OTCPK:FQVLF) plans to restart their Ravensthorpe nickel mine in early 2020.

Nickel juniors

Amur Minerals Corp. [LSE:AMC] [GR:A7L] (OTCPK:AMMCF)

On November 12, Amur Minerals Corp. announced:

Hydrological assessment complete. Amur Minerals Corporation ("Amur" or the "Company"), the nickel-copper sulphide exploration and development company focused on the far east of Russia, is pleased to announce that the Hydrological Assessment (a component of the Company's Permanent Conditions TEO ("TEO")) for its Kun-Manie nickel copper sulphide project is now complete and has been approved by the necessary Russian Federation agencies. The Hydrological Assessment has confirmed the presence of substantial groundwater reserves located along the Maly Kurumkon and Bolshoy Kurumkon water sheds (referred to as the Ataga underground water deposit) sufficient to support the Kun-Manie proposed mining operation.

Poseidon Nickel [ASX:POS] (OTC:PSDNF)

On October 28, Poseidon Nickel announced: 'Quarterly report 30 September 2019.' Highlights include:

Silver Swan Resource Upgrade

  • JORC 2012 INDICATED Restart Resource more than doubled to 10,130 tonnes of nickel metal at a grade of 9.4% Ni.
  • JORC 2012 Indicated + Inferred Resource increased 30% to 16,030 tonnes of nickel metal at a grade of 9.5% Ni.
  • Life of Mine [LOM] schedule set to increase based upon the 30% growth in the Indicated Resource, higher grade and increased continuity of massive sulphide mineralisation.

Black Swan RC Drilling

  • 2,500m underground RC Drilling trial below the Black Swan open pit progressed well, with eight holes (~50% of program) completed to date.
  • Innovative RC Drill technique being used for the current program is a first for nickel exploration in Australia, and offers potential for Research and Development status and support."

On November 13, Poseidon Nickel announced: 'Black Swan underground drilling success.' Highlights include:

  • Final 6 holes of 14-hole RC underground drill campaign completed.
  • Multiple nickel bearing lodes encountered in all 6 drill holes.
  • Assays for the first 2 holes [PBSC009 & PBSC010] have been received, significant intersections include:-Footwall Lode 9m @ 0.84% Ni [PBSC010]. Central Lode 37.5m @ 0.84% Ni [PBSC010] including 7.5m @ 1.27% Ni-Hangingwall 1 Lode 9m @ 0.90% Ni [PBSC009. Hangingwall 2 Lode 19.5m @ 0.84% NI [PBSC009] including 7.5m @ 1.10% Ni..."

Garibaldi Resources [TSXV:GGI] [GR:RQM] [LN:OUX6] (OTC:GGIFF)

On November 4, Garibaldi Resources announced: 'Garibaldi follows new high-grade pathways below lower discovery zone at nickel mountain.' Highlights include:

  • For the first time at Nickel Mountain, massive sulphide mineralization has been intersected below the Lower Discovery Zone [LDZ] in a second new chamber starting 202 meters downhole and 50 meters below and 40 meters north of the LDZ in drill hole EL-19-65 (see below, assays pending);
  • Drill hole EL-19-54 cut four separate intervals of massive sulphide mineralization totaling 9.7 meters core length, at depths starting from 35 meters, 82 meters, 114 meters and 147 meters, including 4.9 meters grading 5.46% nickel and 3.21% copper. This important hole extended the Upper and Lower Discovery Zones westward and, significantly, intersected 51.2 meters of disseminated nickel sulphide mineralization in a chamber starting 290 meters downhole.....
  • The two mineralized chambers greatly expand the potential scale of the E&L system at depth, providing a vector into potential new massive sulphide zones as these chambers exhibit sulphide textures similar to those previously seen only at shallower levels."

Cassini Resources (CSSQF) [ASX:CZI]

On October 28, Cassini Resources announced: 'Activities report for the quarter ended 30 September 2019.' Highlights include:


  • Strengthened relationship with strategic partner and shareholder, Tinci Materials.

West Musgrave Project

  • Pre-Feasibility Study extended to include detailed evaluation of numerous potential value-add opportunities.
  • Further evaluation of opportunities to include: New comminution and float cell technologies. Remote Operations Centre and workforce. Renewable power opportunities and potential partners. Updated Resource and Reserve to inform mine design and schedule.
  • PFS delivery in early 2020."

On November 25, Cassini Resources announced: 'Cassini and OZ Minerals expand West Musgrave Joint Venture.' Highlights include:

  • New exploration tenement applications added to West Musgrave Joint Venture.
  • Prospective for magmatic Ni-Cu and sediment-hosted Cu sulphide.
  • Total JV land package in the West Musgrave Province now in excess of 8,000 km2."

St George Mining Ltd [ASX:SGO] [GR:SOG]

The Cathedrals, Stricklands, and Investigators nickel-copper discoveries (at Mt Alexander) are located on E29/638, which is held in joint venture by Western Areas Limited (25%) and St George (75%). St George is the Manager of the Project with Western Areas retaining a 25% non-contributing interest in the Project (in regard to E29/638 only) until there is a decision to mine.

On October 29, St. George Mining Ltd. announced: "More strong results from step-out drilling at Mt Alexander."

On October 31, St. George Mining Ltd. announced: 'Quarterly activities report for the period ended 30 September 2019.' Highlights include:

Mt Alexander Project

  • Drilling continues 24/7 with diamond and reverse circulation [RC] drilling programmes ongoing.
  • Extensive geophysical programmes initiated with surface electromagnetic [EM] and downhole EM surveys underway.
  • Deeper drilling at the Cathedrals Belt confirms continuation of mineralisation down-plunge of shallow high-grade nickel-copper sulphide deposits.
  • Downhole EM [DHEM] surveys in deeper holes identify multiple off-hole EM conductors that are interpreted as likely to represent massive nickel-copper sulphides.
  • Numerous thick intersections of high-grade nickel-copper sulphides confirm significant extensions to the mineralised footprint at the Cathedrals Belt.
  • Soil surveys completed at the Fish Hook Prospect with maiden drill programme pending completion of EM survey.


  • St George is well-funded to escalate exploration programmes with $3.3m and $5.7m raised in institutional-led capital raisings in July and October 2019."

On November 8, St. George Mining Ltd. announced: "More high-grade nickel-copper sulphide targets at Mt Alexander."

On November 12, St. George Mining Ltd. announced: "Thick intercept of nickel-copper sulphides in deeper drilling of conductors at Mt Alexander."

On November 20, St. George Mining Ltd. announced: "More thick intercepts of nickel-copper sulphides down-plunge of shallow deposits at Mt Alexander."

Sama Resources [TSXV: SME] [GR:8RS] (OTCPK:SAMMF)

No news for the month.

Horizonte Minerals [LN: HZN]

No news for the month.

Neometals [ASX:NMT] (RRSSF)

On October 30, Neometals announced: 'Quarterly activities report for the quarter ended 30 September 2019.' Highlights include:


  • Significant commercial activity culminating in partnership agreements signed during and post the quarter.
  • Cash $107.1 million, receivables and investments at $9.4 million.

Exploration Activities

  • Mt Edwards exploration highlights include high grade massive sulphide nickel assay results from small drilling campaigns over existing and newly acquired deposits. Drill programs have successfully tested high grade nickel sulphide near and within existing Mineral Resources.
  • A systematic program is underway to build/realise value from Mt Edwards via geophysics guiding targeted drilling together with acquisitions and applications to grow the project size."

On November 13, Neometals announced: 'Additional nickel mineral resource at Mt Edwards.' Highlights include:

  • Encouraging Inferred Nickel Mineral Resource estimate at newly acquired Munda deposit in Western Australia.
  • Updated Mineral Resource is 320,000 tonnes at 2.23% Nickel for 7,140 tonnes of contained nickel.
  • Mineralisation remains open across‐strike and down‐dip with recent diamond core drilling supporting potential for further Munda exploration success.
  • Global Mineral Resources at Mt Edwards now increased to 7.7 Million tonnes at 1.7% nickel for circa 130,400 tonnes of contained nickel."

North American Nickel [TSXV:NAN] (OTCQB:WSCRF)

On October 31, North American Nickel announced: "North American Nickel announces $2.0 million bought deal private placement."

Canada Nickel (soon to be listed as a spin-off from Noble Mineral Exploration [TSXV:NOB] [FWB:NB7] (OTCPK:NLPXF))

Investors can learn about the upcoming late December Canada Nickel spin-off in my article "Noble Mineral Exploration Has Huge Exploration Potential Using Several JV Partners."

Conic Metals [TSXV:NKL]

Conic Metals has been formed from the Cobalt 27 spin-out. Conic Metals offers broad exposure to nickel and cobalt through a 8.56% JV interest in Ramu, 11 royalty investments, and an equity share of ~7% of Giga Metals Corporation.

On October 28, Conic Metals announced:

Creation of Conic Metals Corp. Conic Metals Corp. ("Conic" or the "Company") is pleased to announce its creation as part of the completed plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) (the "Arrangement") between Cobalt 27 Capital Corp. ("Cobalt 27") and Pala Investments Limited on October 25, 2019. Conic is a base metals company offering direct exposure to nickel and cobalt, both being critical to electric vehicles ("EVs") and energy storage systems. Pursuant to the Arrangement, Cobalt 27 has transferred certain assets to Conic, including the 8.56% joint-venture interest in Ramu, a low-cost, long-life, producing nickel-cobalt mine and integrated refinery; a royalty portfolio on future projects; and certain equity positions including equity in Giga Metals Corporation. Conic has 83,465,472 common shares outstanding with approximately 8% held by management and directors of Conic.

On November 13, Conic Metals announced:

Conic provides update on Ramu operations and announces TSX-V listing. Conic Metals Corp. ("Conic" or the "Company")[TSXV:NKL] confirms that it has been notified by majority-owner and operator Metallurgical Corporation of China Limited ("MCC"), that processing at the Ramu Process Facility resumed over 2 weeks ago after a short suspension to undertake remedial works, as was previously reported by the Company. The suspension of activities was not the result of an environmental investigation as incorrectly reported by some media outlets. The Company and PNG government took 11 independent samples after the incident that occurred in late August and all sampling showed no lasting environmental impact. The statutory body in PNG responsible for environment protection, Conservation and Environment Protection Authority ("CEPA"), has declared the marine environment in Madang Province normal with no evidence of toxic elements as a result of the incident or Ramu's ongoing operations.

On November 19, my Seeking Alpha article reported: "Conic Metals will list at CAD 0.40 with a current market cap of CAD 33.4m, with 83.5m shares outstanding."

Other juniors

Ardea Resources [ASX:ARL] (OTCPK:ARRRF), Artemis Resources (OTCQB:ARTTF) [ASV:ARV], Australian Mines (OTCQB:AMSLF) [ASX:AUZ], Blackstone Minerals [ASX:BSX], Cassini Resources [ASX: CZI] (OTC:CSSQF), Clean TeQ [ASX:CLQ] [TSX:CLQ] (OTCQX:CTEQF), FPX Nickel [TSXV:FPX] (OTC:FPOCF), Giga Metals [TSXV:GIGA] (OTCPK:HNCKF), Grid Metals Corp. [TSXV:GRDM] (OTCPK:MSMGF), New Age Metals [TXV:NAM] (OTCQB:NMTLF), Nickel Creek Platinum [TSX:NCP] (OTCQB:NCPCF), Pancontinental Resources Corporation [TSXV:PUC] (OTC:PUCCF), PolyMet Mining [TSX:POM] (NYSEMKT:PLM), Rox Resources (OTC:RXXRF) [ASX:RXL], S2 Resources (ASX:S2R), Talisman Mining Ltd.(OTC:TLSMF) [ASX:TLM], Talon Metals (OTCPK:TLOFF) [TSXV:TLO], Transition Metals [TSXV:XTM] (OTC:TNTMF), and Wall Bridge Mining [TSX:WM].

Note: Some of the above companies are covered in the Cobalt monthly news.


Nickel spot prices and LME nickel inventory fell in November.

Highlights for the month were:

  • Nickel market must focus on class 1 material to sate battery appetite. Fastmarkets research expects more than 500,000 tonnes of nickel to be used in lithium-ion batteries for EVs by 2025 compared with 100,000 tonnes in 2018.
  • China's GEM eyes nickel, cobalt output from Indonesia by August 2020. China's Huayou sees Indonesia nickel, cobalt project start up in 2 yrs.
  • Indonesia hopes to approve battery-grade nickel plants soon.
  • 'Driving range anxiety' to propel nickel-rich battery development.
  • Norilsk Nickel released their 10-year strategic vision which includes expansion, increased CapEx (especially 2022-25), and reduced dividends in 2023-25.
  • BHP appointed Mike Henry to become BHP Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 January 2020.
  • Glencore is looking for a successor to outgoing CEO Ivan Glasenberg.
  • Independence Group makes off-market takeover bid for Panoramic Resources. Panoramic Resources - Panoramic shareholders are encouraged to accept the offer.
  • Garibaldi Resources - Massive sulphide mineralization has been intersected below the Lower Discovery Zone.
  • Neometals - Global Mineral Resources at Mt Edwards now increased to 7.7 Million tonnes at 1.7% nickel for circa 130,400 tonnes of contained nickel.
  • Conic Metals [TSXV:NKL] lists on the TSXV at CAD 0.40.

As usual, all comments are welcome.

Disclosure: I am/we are long NORILSK NICKEL [LSE:MNOD], GLENCORE [LSX:GLEN], RNC MINERALS [TSX:RNX], AXIOM MINING (ASX:AVQ), ARDEA RESOURCES [ASX:ARL], AUSTRALIAN MINES [ASX:AUZ], POSEIDON NICKEL [ASX:POS], AMUR MINERALS [LN:AMC]. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.