- Nickel spot prices were higher in October, LME inventory was lower.
- Nickel market news - Will the nickel price surge past $20,000/t?
- Nickel company news - Vale Q3 production down, Nornickel up. BHP delivers first nickel sulphate crystals from Kwinana nickel sulphate plant. BHP to supply nickel to Toyota-Panasonic battery venture.
- Panoramic Resources first Ni-Cu-Co concentrate produced at Savannah. Nickel 28 - COVID-hit Ramu nickel-cobalt mine suspended. Horizonte Minerals secures credit approval for USD 346.2 million senior debt facility for the development of the Araguaia Nickel Project in Brazil.
- Poseidon Nickel MOU signed with PBT to investigate battery materials (precursor Cathode Active Material) refinery in WA. Pallinghurst Group to acquire a 19.2% interest in Talon Metals Corp.
- I do much more than just articles at Trend Investing: Members get access to model portfolios, regular updates, a chat room, and more. Learn More »
Welcome to the nickel miners news for October. The past month saw some news of nickel supply disruptions (Vale's Onça Puma mine was suspended then re-opened, Nickel 28's Ramu nickel-cobalt mine was suspended), and plenty of good progress by both the nickel producers and the nickel juniors.
Nickel price news
As of October 28, the nickel spot price was USD 9.00, up from USD 8.38 last month. LME shows the price at USD 19,820/tonne. Nickel inventory at the London Metals Exchange [LME] was again significantly lower than last month at 143,334 tonnes (160,230 tonnes last month).
Nickel spot prices - Long-term chart - Current price = USD 9.00/lb
Nickel Long-term Price Projection
Source: Kalkine Media courtesy DIS
Nickel demand vs. supply charts
2019 to 2030 'battery' demand increase forecast for EV metals - Nickel 'battery' demand forecast to increase by 14x
Source: Courtesy BloombergNEF
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence - Simon Moores's - forecasts
Source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Twitter
BloombergNEF EV metals demand forecast
UBS forecasts year battery metals go into deficit
Source: UBS courtesy Carlos Vincens LinkedIn
Nickel demand v supply forecast - Deficits widening from 2021/22 onwards
Source: Garibaldi Resources March 2021 presentation and courtesy of Wood Mackenzie
2021 IEA forecast growth in demand for selected minerals from clean energy technologies by scenario, 2040 relative to 2020 - Increases Of Lithium 13x to 42x, Graphite 8x to 25x, Cobalt 6x to 21x, Nickel 7x to 19x, Manganese 3x to 8x, Rare Earths 3x to 7x, And Copper 2x to 3x
Source: International Energy Agency 2021 report
On June 30, Mining.com reported:
CHART: Study predicts over 400% increase in copper, lithium, nickel battery demand. BNEF predicts annual demand for lithium-ion batteries will pass 2.7 terawatt-hours per year by 2030 - a 35% increase from the analytics company's forecast made last year.
Nickel market news
On September 28, S&P Global Platts reported:
BASF battery sales to grow to Eur7 billion by 2030: director. Roughly 10% of market share by 2030......NCM chemistry expected to be dominant technology in 2030......BASF predicted that nickel and lithium, in particular, would be tight when the electromobility trend developed as projected, especially towards the middle of the decade, he said.
On October 7, Bloomberg reported:
Lithium prices are soaring, sparking more deals for key battery metal. Lithium carbonate prices in China soar to record high: BNEF. Chinese firms look to buy more lithium assets, Scotiabank says. Lithium is having a moment -- and record prices won't deter the flurry of deals for the key battery metal......The rally comes as a global push for less polluting energy sources that has automakers and battery manufacturers racing to secure supplies of so-called future-facing commodities including lithium, copper and nickel......The type of capital entering the electric-vehicle supply chain is more patient than in past cycles, Berry said. "It's not just hedge funds riding momentum," he said. "These are larger strategic players from both inside and outside the EV supply chain positioning amidst the decarbonization thesis."
On October 13, Tesmanian reported:
Tesla struck a multi-year nickel supply deal with New Caledonian's Prony. Prony Resources said Wednesday that Tesla has agreed to acquire about 42,000 tonnes of nickel as part of a multi-year deal, a pact that would make the New Caledonian mining industry a key metal supplier to the American manufacturer, Reuters reported.
On October 26, Capital.com reported:
Nickel price forecast: will the metal surge past $20,000? .....Although NPI production fell to an estimated 605,000 tonnes in 2020, output is expected to rise in 2021 as China and Indonesia ramp up capacity. Two of the biggest operations are in Indonesia; Morowali Industrial Park, with more than 213,000 tonnes capacity, and the 90,000-tonne Weda Bay Industrial Park. The expanding global production capacity is likely to keep nickel prices from returning to their all-time high.......With the global recovering demand in 2021, INSG forecast nickel consumption to jump to 2.673 million tonnes this year, up by 12% from 2020......The nickel market surplus was estimated at 45,000 tonnes this year, down from the 108,000 tonnes surplus in 2020, according to INSG......Nickel demand in the EV sector could grow to 600,000 tonnes by 2025, accounting for 24% of the 2.5-million tonne global nickel market, according to Will Adams.......The growing demand in EVs batteries underpinned the bullish nickel price forecast between 2024-2025 for Morgan Stanley and Fitch Solutions.......Investment bank Morgan Stanley's nickel price forecast for 2021-2025 is below $18,000 a tonne. In the meantime, consultancy Fitch Solutions expects the commodity to average $16,500 a tonne in 2021 and $16,540 in 2022 but rise above $17,000 a tonne by 2023, with the uptrend to continue into 2025.
Nickel Company News
Vale S.A. (NYSE:VALE)
Vale plans a USD 1.7B Voisey's Bay expansion plan to boost their nickel production. Construction began in 2018 and is expected to be complete by 2022. You can read more here.
On October 18, Vale S.A. announced:
Vale informs on the suspensive effect to the appeal filed by the State of Pará and the reinstatement of the suspension of the Operating License of Onça Puma mine. Vale has started the process to halt the activities at Onça Puma mine, Pará, and it will continue to take the appropriate administrative and judicial measures to reverse the order to suspend mine operations, which it considers unfounded.
On October 19, Vale S.A. announced:
Vale's Production and Sales in 3Q21. Production of finished nickel was 30.2 kt in 3Q21, 27.2% lower than 2Q21, mainly due to the labour disruption at Sudbury, which halted operations for 70 days, of which 40 days were in 3Q21, with an impact of 11kt on finished nickel production in the quarter. In addition, Onça Puma went through extended maintenance during 3Q21, with production resuming late September..... We expect to produce 45-50 kt of nickel and 75-80 kt of copper in 4Q21, resulting in a production of approximately 165-170 kt of nickel and 295-300 kt of copper for the year of 2021. The range considers the risks associated with the scheduled resumption of operations at Totten mine and Salobo plant and the stoppage of Onça Puma mine. In addition, the range accounts for the continued ramp up of all Sudbury operations.
On October 19, Vale S.A. announced: Vale informs on estimates update. Vale S.A ("Vale") informs that it has reported today, in its third quarter production report, its estimate for nickel and copper production:
On October 28, Fastmarkets reported:
Vale can resume operations at Onça Puma nickel mine, Brazilian Superior Court rules......Operations at Onça Puma were first halted on October 4 because Pará's environmental secretariat, Semas, had suspended the operating license on October 1.
Norilsk Nickel [LSX: MNOD] (OTCPK:NILSY)
On September 30, Norilsk Nickel announced: "Great Norilsk Expedition 2021 completes fieldwork and gets down to laboratory tests."
On October 6, Norilsk Nickel announced:
Nornickel cancels repurchased shares. MMC Norilsk Nickel the world's largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, announces the cancellation of 4,590,852 ordinary shares, which were bought back from shareholders in June.
On October 20, Norilsk Nickel announced:
Nornickel announces production results for 9M 2021. In 3Q21, consolidated nickel output increased 55% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) to 51 kt, almost all of which were produced from the Company's own Russian feed (50 kt, up 60% q-o-q). The increase in production was attributed to the completion of recovery of the Taimyrsky mine (4.3 mtpa of ore) after the flooding caused by the inflow of groundwater, as well as the ramp up of the Norilsk Concentrator as a result of the launch of mobile crushers. The Taimyrsky underground mine and Norilsk Concentrator are scheduled to return to full capacity this December.....
On October 27, Norilsk Nickel announced:
PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel successfully places a USD 500 million Eurobond offering maturing in October 2026.
BHP Group [ASX:BHP] (NYSE:BHP)
BHP's Nickel West (includes the Mt Keith nickel mine in Australia) has a Measured and Indicated Resource of 4.1Mt contained nickel with a Total Resource contained nickel of 6.3Mt, with an average grade of 0.58% Ni in sulphide ore. Nickel West produced 80 kt of nickel in FY 2020. BHP's new Kwinana Nickel Refinery is due for completion in the first half of FY2021, with first product due in the second half of FY2021, Stage 1 production is aimed to be 100ktpa nickel sulphate.
On October 1, BHP Group announced:
BHP delivers first crystals from Kwinana nickel sulphate plant.....The nickel sulphate plant is an Australian-first and will produce 100,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per year when fully operational. BHP Nickel West Asset President, Jessica Farrell, said: "BHP's nickel sulphate plant is the first of its kind in Australia, and will produce enough premium nickel sulphate to make 700,000 electric vehicle batteries each year.
On October 4, Reuters reported:
BHP to supply nickel to Toyota-Panasonic battery venture. The world's largest miner had agreed in July to supply nickel to Tesla Inc and work with the company on lowering carbon emissions in the battery supply chain. BHP's agreement with Prime Planet and Toyota Tsusho, the automaker's metals trading arm, pursues similar objectives and also aims to boost transparency around raw materials sourcing and human rights reporting. The parties will also explore the possibility of recycling batteries at BHP's Nickel West operations at Kwinana, near Perth, for further processing and production of nickel-bearing products, they said in a joint statement.
On October 25, BHP Group announced:
BHP operational review for the quarter ended 30 September 2021..... Nickel West production decreased by 20 per cent to 18 kt, reflecting planned maintenance at the Kalgoorlie Smelter, Kwinana Refinery and the Leinster and Kambalda concentrators in the September 2021 quarter. Guidance for the 2022 financial year remains unchanged at between 85 and 95 kt. The first batch of nickel sulphate crystals were produced in the September 2021 quarter and customer certification is underway. We expect first saleable production in the December 2021 quarter.
BHP's Nickel West operations
Source: BHP Group/ Nickel West
Jinchuan Group [HK:2362]
No significant news for the month.
No significant news for the month.
No significant news for the month.
On October 31, Anglo American announced:
Q3 2021 production report. Primary nickel production increased by 2% over the period and by-product nickel from our PGMs business increased by 20% to 6,000 tonnes.
On October 25, Eramet announced: "Eramet: Strong growth in Q3 2021 turnover, forecast EBITDA revised upwards close to €1bn over the year."
- "Turnover of €1.1bn (+34% vs. Q3 2020), with growth of more than 40% in the Mining and Metals division.
- Good operating performance in the Mining and Metals division in all entities except New Caledonia:......Decrease in ferronickel production in New Caledonia (-19%), notably resulting from the deterioration in the health situation in the territory since early September; cash cost1 at $7/lb in Q3 2021, despite the increase in exported nickel ore volumes (+49%).....
- 2021 Outlook: Favourable market momentum in Q4. Mining production targets confirmed in Gabon and revised upwards for Weda Bay Nickel; nickel ore export target and ferronickel production revised downwards in New Caledonia. Forecast EBITDA revised up over the year: considering the excellent dynamics for manganese alloys and a revised consensus for 2021 of average manganese ore (CIF China 44%) prices at $5.1/dmtu and LME nickel prices at $8.3/lb, forecast EBITDA would be close to €1bn in 2021."
Sherritt International (OTCPK:SHERF) [TSX:S]
No significant news for the month.
On October 14, IGO Limited announced: "Exploration update, Fraser Range." Highlights include:
- "IGO exploration broadens across Symons Hill licence; new target identified at South Plumridge, and works planned for other BOA licences under IGO exploration.......
- New nickel target now identified at South Plumridge (E28/2937), known as Emperor North. MLEM survey is planned to start in October.
- Planned activity on other tenements, which is dependent upon completion of Native Title and Heritage Agreement, includes MLEM and aircore on: Ballast Eye [E28/2849] which is a significant eye feature (as announced 13/7/21). Eggpie target [E28/2866]. Buckwheat target [E28/2888 and E28/2895]. Beacon target [E28/2937]. Mahi West target [E28/2937]."
Western Areas Ltd. [ASX:WSA] (OTCPK:WNARF)
On October 5, Western Areas Ltd. announced:
Odysseus mine development reaches first ore. Western Areas Ltd is pleased to announce first ore production at the Odysseus project where nickel ore has been intersected at the Odysseus south orebody. Significant progress has also been made with the shaft raise bore, which commenced 630 metres of back-reaming in January 2021 and has now broken through to surface. The first development ore at the Odysseus south orebody marks a significant milestone for the Company's new long-life nickel mine. The ore will be stockpiled during construction of the concentrator complex, which is due to produce first concentrate in the December quarter of calendar year 2022. Western Areas is also assessing options for potential ore tolling arrangements in the short term.
On October 28, Western Areas Ltd. announced: "Activity report for the period ending 30 September 2021." Highlights include:
- "Nickel ore intersected at the Odysseus south orebody, with first ore production announced in early October.
- Raise bore back-reaming of hoisting shaft successfully broken through to surface, with winder house construction near complete.
- Cosmos nickel offtake tender process launched for initial two years Odysseus production receiving very encouraging market response.
- Mt Goode scoping study progressed with diamond drilling planned in December quarter.
- Successful commissioning of 20,000 tonne demonstration heap leach plant at Forrestania.
- Forrestania mine production of 3,741 nickel tonnes in ore, reflecting expected variability in grade from mature Flying Fox mine and inclusion of increased low grade mining areas.
- Mill production of 3,804 nickel tonnes in concentrate with recoveries impacted by the lower average head grade and treatment of some low-grade stockpiled ore.
- Unit cash cost of nickel in concentrate increased to $A$4.95 due to reduced mined grades.
- Nickel sales of 3,962 nickel tonnes in concentrate at an average realised nickel price of A$11.90/lb for the quarter.
- Executed facility documentation to establish the A$75m revolving credit facility.
- Operating cash flow of A$31.1m, with cash at bank of $147.7m and no drawn debt."
Panoramic Resources [ASX:PAN] (OTCPK:PANRF)
Panoramic's Savannah mine and mill has 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 September 29, Panoramic Resources announced: "Savannah financing draw-down." Highlights include:
- "Initial USD 30 million draw-down completed under the Trafigura USD 45 million secured loan facility.
- Cash on hand as of 31 August 2021 totalled $11.4million.
- Five-year offtake agreement with Trafigura from February 2023 now unconditional."
On October 20, Panoramic Resources announced: "First Ni-Cu-Co concentrate produced at Savannah." Highlights include:
- "......First nickel-copper-cobalt concentrate has been produced from the plant and is being stockpiled at site.
- Trucking of concentrate from site to the Wyndham Port is planned to commence next week.
- First shipment of concentrate is expected to leave Wyndham port in December 2021."
On October 28, Panoramic Resources announced: "Quarterly activities report for the period ending 30 September 2021." Highlights include:
- "Three-year contract executed with leading mineral process engineering specialists Primero Group for processing services at Savannah with a value of approximately $34 million. Terms of the contract incentivise outperformance of base case processing recoveries.
- Primero fully mobilised to site and successfully commissioned the Savannah processing plant three weeks ahead of schedule.
- Plant ore feed is being sourced from the +120kt ore stockpile generated since underground mining operations restarted..........
- Grade control drilling on the first mining level at Savannah North confirms strong and continuous mineralisation and provides increased confidence in stope designs."
- "USD 30 million draw-down completed in late September under the Trafigura USD 45 million secured loan facility. USD 15 million is undrawn and available.
- Five-year offtake agreement with Trafigura starting in February 2023 now unconditional.
- Group Cash - $45 million available at quarter end."
Nickel Mines Ltd. [ASX:NIC] (OTCPK:NICMF)
On October 1, Nickel Mines Ltd. announced: "Angel Nickel Project ownership increased to 80%." Highlights include:
- ".......Nickel Mines' nameplate nickel production to more than double post commissioning in 2022.
- The Company has a construction cost guarantee, removing capital expenditure risk.
- Construction well advanced and on schedule for commissioning in the second half of 2022.
- Nickel Mines now controls RKEF operations in two of the world's leading nickel production centres."
On October 18, Nickel Mines Ltd. announced: "Binding agreement signed to supply limonite ore to IMIP HPAL Project."
On October 28, Nickel Mines Ltd. announced: "Quarterly activities report for the quarter ended 30 September 2021. Consistent production and increased margins deliver USD 68.4m of EBITDA from operations." Highlights include:
- "RKEF quarterly production of 10,113.3 tonnes of nickel metal (100% basis), down 0.3% from the 10,143.0 tonnes of nickel metal in the June 2021 quarter. NIC attributable nickel production was 8,090.7 tonnes of nickel metal.......
- Cash + receivables + inventory at quarter end of USD 297.4M, down 18.2% from USD 363.5M in the June quarter.
- Declaration and payment of a A$0.02 per share interim dividend.
- Successful "tap" issuance of USD 150M of Senior Unsecured Notes.
- Completion of the acquisition of an additional 30% of Angel Nickel for USD 210M.
- Angel Nickel project construction on schedule for commissioning in 2H 2022 to more than double nameplate nickel production."
Nickel 28 Capital Corp. [TSXV:NKL] [GR:3JC] (OTCPK:CONXF)
On October 28, Fastmarkets reported:
Covid-hit Ramu nickel-cobalt mine suspended, co-owner Nickel 28 says...... "Nickel 28 Capital has been notified by Metallurgical Corporation of China [MCC], our operating partner at the Ramu mine, that the mine site has paused production and operations for the next two weeks to protect against the rising spread of the Covid-19 virus".....
Other nickel producers
First Quantum Minerals [TSX:FM] (OTCPK:FQVLF), Franco-Nevada (FNV), MMG [HK:1208] (OTCPK:MMLTF), South32 [ASX:S32] (OTCPK:SOUHY) (OTCPK:SHTLF), Lundin Mining [TSX:LUN] (OTCPK:LUNMF), Nickel Asia Corporation [PSE:NIKL].
Mincor Resources [ASX:MCR] (OTCPK:MCRZF)
Owns the Cassini nickel sulphide mine, just south of Kambalda in Western Australia. First nickel concentrate is set to begin in Q2 2022.
On October 4, Mincor Resources announced: "Annual report 2021."
On October 28, Mincor Resources announced: "Quarterly activities report for the period ended 30 September 2021. $66 million capital raising, improved debt funding, and Cassini camp construction enhances Kambalda development pathway as exploration delivers at Golden Mile and Hartley." Highlights include:
- "......Four massive nickel sulphide intersections announced during the quarter at the Golden Mile, with the highlight being ULG-21-030, which intersected 8.1m @ 4.2% Ni.
- Several massive sulphide intercepts announced at the newly-named Hartley greenfields prospect within an interpreted 3km channel, with the highlight being MDD373W2, which returned 4.5m @ 3.3% Ni.
- Development continued at Cassini and Northern Operations with a number of project milestones achieved.....
- Cash at bank of $102.1 million at quarter-end."
On October 28, Mincor Resources announced:
Kambalda nickel operations - October update. Offtake and processing agreement triggered with BHP Nickel West with first nickel concentrate now scheduled for Q2 2022 as exploration continues to deliver at Hartley and Golden Mile.
Horizonte Minerals Plc [TSX:HZM] [AIM:HZM] (OTCPK:HZMMF)
Horizonte is developing its 100% owned Araguaia Nickel Project (Araguaia) as Brazil's next major ferronickel mine.
On September 30, Horizonte announced: "Horizonte secures credit approval for USD 346.2 million senior debt facility for the development of the Araguaia Project." Highlights include:
The Senior Debt Facility will include two tranches:
- "Tranche A of USD 146.2 million, to be guaranteed by the ECAs in relation to a number of key equipment and service provider contracts.
- Tranche B of USD 200 million."
Poseidon Nickel [ASX:POS] (OTC:PSDNF)
On October 13, Poseidon Nickel announced: "MOU signed with PBT to investigate battery materials refinery in WA." Highlights include:
- "Pure Battery Technologies [PBT] is advancing plans to build and operate a battery material refinery hub in Kalgoorlie, WA.
- PBT is targeting initial production of up to 50,000tpa of precursor Cathode Active Material [pCAM] from the refinery, expandable over time.
- Poseidon has signed an MoU with PBT whereby Poseidon and PBT will study the suitability of Poseidon's potential nickel concentrate production from Black Swan and/or Lake Johnston as feed to the proposed refinery."
On October 25, Poseidon Nickel announced: "Black Swan exploration update." Highlights include:
Silver Swan Drilling
- "Two underground rigs are testing the potential down plunge Silver Swan extensions and infilling existing Inferred Resources.
- The existing Silver Swan Resources contain a total of 16kt Ni averaging 9.5% Ni spread over three resources - Tundra-Mute, Peking Duck and Fledgling-Canard.
- First assays received from Tundra Mute include: PTMD001: 1.55m @ 12.98% Ni from 259.6m. PTMD002: 0.6m @ 1.31% Ni from 273.4m PTMD003: 1.95m @ 6.66% Ni from 251.2m."
On October 27, Poseidon Nickel announced: "Golden Swan maiden resource." Highlights include:
- "Indicated Resource at Golden Swan is 111,600t @ 4.7% Ni for 5,200t contained Ni.
- Total Indicated and Inferred Resource at Golden Swan is 160,000t @ 3.9% Ni for 6,250t contained Ni.
- Golden Swan adds significant Ni tonnes to the high-grade inventory at Black Swan with Indicated Resources of high grade at Black Swan now 219,600t @ 7% Ni for 15,330t of contained Ni."
Amur Minerals Corp. [LSE:AMC] [GR:A7L] (OTCPK:AMMCF)
On September 30, Amur Minerals Corp. announced: "Interim results 2021." Highlights include:
- ".....Russian B + C1 reserve inclusive of in-balance and off-balance totals 144.2 million ore tonnes containing 1.10 million nickel tonnes and 304 thousand copper tonnes. This inventory approximates the JORC resource categories of Measured and Indicated.
- Potential mine life estimated to be 25 years, sustaining an 11.2 million tonne per year throughput.
- Open pit mining operating costs per ore tonne USD 14.79 (ore plus waste cost). All other costs total USD 33.25 per ore tonne FOB Vladivostok, Russia.
- Total initial capital costs are projected to be approximately USD 1.0 billion, including the construction of a power line and a dual carriageway gravel surface road. Working capital expenditures projected to be USD 83 million."
Talon Metals [TSX:TLO] (OTCPK:TLOFF) Tamarack - (JV with Rio Tinto)
Tamarack is a high-grade nickel-copper-cobalt project located in Minnesota, USA, with considerable exploration upside. Talon Metals owns a 51% project share, with potential to further earn-in to a 60% share by 2026, with potential to further earn-in to a 60% share by 2026.
On October 5, Talon Metals announced: "US EV battery supply chain: Talon Metals announces new high-grade nickel-copper mineralization at the Tamarack Nickel Project. 13 new drill holes show prospective grades and size outside main resource area." Highlights include
- ".......Some of the notable assay results, include: Drill hole 21TK0305 intersected 17.95 meters of nickel-copper mineralization grading 0.7% Ni, 0.44% Cu (0.96% NiEq or 2.55% CuEq) starting at only 199.5 meters depth. Drill hole 21TK0306 intersected 15.94 meters of nickel-copper mineralization grading 0.77% Ni, 0.41% Cu (1.09% NiEq or 2.9% CuEq) starting at only 240.3 meters depth......
On October 18, Newswire.ca reported:
Pallinghurst to acquire a 19.2% interest in Talon Metals Corp...... pursuant to a binding private agreement with Resource Capital Fund VI L.P. ("RCF") at a purchase price of $0.60 per share and an aggregate purchase price of $80,166,536.40 (the "Transaction"). The Transaction is expected to close on or around October 22, 2021.......On closing of the Transaction, Pallinghurst and RCF will enter into an ancillary rights and relationship agreement (the "Relationship Agreement") which, among other things, will set out the basis on which Pallinghurst and RCF intend to seek common ground as to Talon's potential financing strategy and certain corporate governance matters. Pursuant to the Relationship Agreement, Pallinghurst and RCF will also agree to not sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of any of their Talon shares for a 12-month period following closing of the Transaction without the prior written consent of the other party.
Garibaldi Resources [TSXV:GGI] [GR:RQM] [LN:OUX6] (OTCPK:GGIFF)
No nickel related news for the month.
OZ Minerals [ASX:OZL] (OTCPK:OZMLF)
Owns the West Musgrave nickel-copper project in Western Australia as well as several other mines.
On October 20, OZ Minerals announced:
OZ Minerals September 2021 quarterly report. $188 million cash balance, undrawn debt facility.
St George Mining Ltd. [ASX:SGQ] [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 20, St George Mining Ltd. announced: "Quarterly activities report for the period ended 30 September 2021." Highlights include:
Mt Alexander Project
.......Assays Confirm 125m Down-Plunge Extent of MAD199 Discovery:
- "Assays for MAD201, the first step-out hole from MAD199, confirm massive nickel-copper sulphides intersected 125m below the MAD199 discovery.
- Multiple strong off-hole EM conductors identified from MAD199 and MAD201, indicating the presence of more sulphide mineralisation around these holes."
Maiden Drilling Off Regional Targets:
- "Drilling completed at the Carnac and Jailbreak Prospects - both owned 100% by St George.
- Very encouraging results, with geology encountered supporting prospectivity for nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation."
Seismic Survey Completed:
- "First-ever seismic survey at the Cathedrals Belt completed over Investigators and West End with results pending.
- Survey will map the orientation of the intrusive-host structure at depth, assisting with drill hole design for deeper targets."
Sama Resources [TSXV: SME] [GR:8RS] (OTCPK:SAMMF)
No news for the month.
North American Nickel [TSXV:NAN] (WSCRF)
On September 28, North American Nickel announced: "North American Nickel congratulates PNR on signing definitive asset purchase agreement to acquire assets in Botswana...."
Canada Nickel Company [TSXV:CNC] (OTCQX:CNIKF)
On October 5, Canada Nickel announced: "Canada Nickel achieves 62% nickel recovery and demonstrates substantial improvement in metallurgical performance at the Crawford Nickel Sulphide Project."
On October 26, Canada Nickel announced: "Canada Nickel announces discovery of higher grade core at Crawford East Zone." Highlights include:
- ".....The higher grade cores span combined strike length of 1.6 kilometres, a width of 20 to 50 metres, to a depth of 690 metres.
- Drilling in the East Zone has successfully infilled and extended strike length to a total of 2.1 kilometres, substantially larger than previously reported resource.
- Hole 142A averaged 0.31% Ni across its entire 576 metre core length, ending in mineralization. Hole 165A (assays pending) was mineralized across its entire 690 metre core length, ending in higher grade mineralization at 735 metres. Five other holes recently completed intersected drill intervals of up to 216.6 metres of higher grade mineralization.
- Samples from East Zone Higher Grade Core yielded the highest grade concentrate from Crawford during metallurgical work reported for the previously released Preliminary Economic Assessment with 43% of the recovered nickel reporting to a 55% nickel concentrate."
Giga Metals [TSXV:GIGA] [FSE: BRR2] (HNCKF)
On October 18, Giga Metals announced: "Giga Metals partners with Wilson Center on Critical Minerals Supply Chain report."
Ardea Resources [ASX:ARL] (OTCPK:ARRRF)
On October 22, Ardea Resources announced:
FBICRC signs contract for $18M flagship cathode precursor production pilot plant. Ardea Resources Limited [Ardea or ARL] is pleased to advise that the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre [FBICRC], of which Ardea is an active member, has signed a contract valued at $18M to design and commission the FBICRC's flagship Cathode Precursor Production [PCAM] Pilot Plant in Western Australia. The consortium of FBICRC participants includes some of the largest nickel and chemicals producers in the world who are working with companies such as Ardea to produce from locally sourced materials, the present generation of cathode chemistries for the batteries used in electric vehicles.
On October 27, Ardea Resources announced: "Quarterly operations report for the quarter ended 30 September 2021." Highlights include:
Kalgoorlie Nickel Project
- "Strategic Partner feedback has been incorporated into the scope of work for the accelerating feasibility study [FS]. The FS will demonstrate that the Goongarrie Hub (Goongarrie) is one of the most significant nickel-cobalt projects in the world that can ensure sustainable and ethical battery mineral supply from the premium operating jurisdiction in the world, WA.
- Gap Analysis Study with international engineering consultant Wood nearing completion, to finalise the KNP flow sheet and consolidate all KNP data to feed into the Definitive Feasibility Study [DFS].
- Ongoing project engagement with supportive Community stake holders and with State and Commonwealth statutory authorities.
- Industry Partnership work continues with the Future Battery Industry Co-operative Research Centre [FBICRC] at Curtin University and CSIRO."
WA Nickel Sulphide, Critical Minerals and Gold
Exploration for nickel-copper-PGE sulphide and Critical Minerals continues on compelling targets which are complimentary to the development of the KNP.
- "Nickel Sulphide - Emu Lake drilling to continue in the December Quarter to follow-up on diamond drill hole AELD0002 massive nickel sulphide.
- 1.1m @ 4.78% Ni, 0.16% Cu, 0.47g/t Pt, 0.20g/t Pd from 366.9m downhole, within a broader zone of 4.8m @ 1.44% Ni from 365.9m depth."
Centaurus Metals [ASX:CTM] (OTCQX:CTTZF)
Centaurus Metals is an Australian-based minerals exploration company focused on the near-term development of the Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project, in Northern Brazil.
On October 22, Centaurus Metals announced:
Further key property secured at Jaguar. Centaurus Metals is pleased to announce it has secured possession of a further key piece of land covering its 100%-owned Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in northern Brazil following the completion of a new Possession Agreement. This latest agreement, which follows the first two properties secured in March and April this year, covers an area of approximately 533 hectares of pasture land (see images below) and provides further security of land possession for the long-term benefit of the Jaguar Project.....
On October 28, Centaurus Metals announced: "September 2021 quarterly activities report." Highlights include:
Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project
- "Key environmental approval document, the Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA/RIMA"), lodged with the Pará State environmental authority [SEMAS], with approval targeted for Q3 2022.
- Independent ESG assessment confirms Jaguar's credentials as a world leading, low-emission nickel project, with a life-of-mine CO2 footprint estimated to be lower than 97% of global nickel production.
- When in operation, the E1 emissions (Scope 1+2+downstream) for the production of nickel sulphate on site at Jaguar are expected to be extremely low at 4.69 tonnes of CO2/tonne of nickel equivalent.
- In-fill and step-out drilling at Jaguar South and Jaguar Central continues to return consistent high-grade nickel intersections, including an exceptional drill intersection of 41.5m at 1.64% Ni from 134.5m, incl. 21.2m at 2.19% Ni from 135.5m in JAG-DD-21-175.
- New DHEM survey work has identified multiple EM conductor plates that extend over 250m below the deepest drilling at both the Jaguar South and Onça Preta deposits........
- Maiden regional exploration drilling delivers a new discovery with significant zones of nickel sulphide mineralisation at the greenfields Tigre Prospect - RC drilling continuing.
- Multiple project development activities and infrastructure initiatives commenced during the Quarter, including significant road upgrade work between the town of Tucumã and site.
- Preparation of the Jaguar Economic Development Plan [PAE] progressed well during the Quarter, with final documentation planned to be submitted to the National Mining Agency [ANM] in early November."
- "Cash on 30 September 2021 of $15.8 million."
Artemis Resources [ASV:ARV] (OTCQB:ARTTF), Australian Mines [ASX:AUZ] (OTCPK:AMSLF), Blackstone Minerals [ASX:BSX] (OTCQX:BLSTF), Cassini Resources [ASX: CZI], Class 1 Nickel and Technologies Ltd. [CSE:NICO] (OTCQB:NICLF), Electric Royalties [TSXV:ELEC] (OTCQB:ELECF), FPX Nickel [TSXV:FPX] (OTCQB:FPOCF), Grid Metals Corp (OTCQB:MSMGF) [TSXV:GRDM], Horizonte Minerals Plc [TSXV:HZM] [LON:HZM] (OTCPK:HZMMF), Inomin Mines [TSXV:MINE], Jervois Mining [ASX:JRV] [TSXV:JRV] (OTCQX:JRVMF), New Age Metals [TXV:NAM] (OTCQB:NMTLF), Nickel Creek Platinum [TSX:NCP] (OTCQX:NCPCF), Pancontinental Resources Corporation [TSXV:PUC] (OTCQB:PUCCF), PolyMet Mining [TSX:POM] (PLM), Renforth Resources [CSE:RFR] (OTCQB:RFHRF), Rox Resources [ASX:RXL], S2 Resources (ASX:S2R), Sunrise Energy Metals [ASX:SRL] (OTCQX:SREMF), Surge Battery Metals Inc. [TSXV:NILI] [FRA:DJ5C] (OTCPK:NILIF), Talisman Mining Ltd. [ASX:TLM] (OTCPK:TLSMF), Tartisan Nickel Corp. [CSE:TN] (OTCQX:TTSRF), Transition Metals [TSXV:XTM] (OTCPK:TNTMF), URU Metals Ltd. [LSE:URU] [GR:NVRA], Wall Bridge Mining [TSX:WM], Widgie Nickel [ASX:WIN] (spin out from Neometals [ASX:NMT] (OTCPK:RRSSF) (OTCPK:RDRUY)), and Zeb Nickel Corp. [TSXV:ZBNI].
Note: Some of the above companies are covered in the Cobalt monthly news.
Nickel spot prices were higher in October, LME inventory was lower.
Highlights for the month were:
- BASF battery sales to grow to EUR7 billion by 2030: director.....NCM chemistry expected to be dominant technology in 2030.
- Automakers and battery manufacturers racing to secure supplies of so-called future-facing commodities including lithium, copper and nickel.
- Tesla struck a multi-year nickel supply deal with New Caledonia's Prony Resources.
- Fitch Solutions expects nickel prices to average $16,500/t in 2021 and $16,540 in 2022, but rise above $17,000/t by 2023, with the uptrend to continue into 2025.
- Vale's production of finished nickel was 30.2 kt in 3Q21, 27.2% lower than 2Q21, mainly due to the labour disruption at Sudbury.
- Nornickel cancels 4,590,852 ordinary shares, which were bought back from shareholders in June. 3Q21 nickel output increased 55% QoQ to 51 kt.
- BHP delivers first nickel sulphate crystals from Kwinana nickel sulphate plant. BHP to supply nickel to Toyota-Panasonic battery venture.
- Western Areas Odysseus mine development reaches first ore.
- Panoramic Resources first Ni-Cu-Co concentrate produced at Savannah.
- Nickel Mines Angel Nickel Project ownership increased to 80%.
- COVID-hit Ramu nickel-cobalt mine suspended, co-owner Nickel 28 says.
- Mincor Resources first nickel concentrate now scheduled for Q2 2022 from their Cassini nickel sulphide mine.
- Horizonte Minerals secures credit approval for USD 346.2 million senior debt facility for the development of the Araguaia Nickel Project in Brazil.
- Poseidon Nickel MOU signed with PBT to investigate battery materials (precursor Cathode Active Material) refinery in WA. Golden Swan Maiden Resource of Indicated 111,600t @ 4.7% Ni for 5,200t contained Ni.
- Pallinghurst Group to acquire a 19.2% interest in Talon Metals Corp.
- Canada Nickel announces discovery of higher grade core at Crawford East Zone.
- Centaurus Metals further key property secured at Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project, in Northern Brazil.
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Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have a beneficial long position in the shares of BHP GROUP [ASX:BHP], VALE SA (VALE), NORILSK NICKEL [LSE:MNOD], ARDEA RESOURCES [ASX:ARL], AMUR MINERALS [LN:AMC], JERVOIS MINING [TSXV:JRV], NEOMETALS [ASX:NMT], WIDGIE NICKEL [ASX:WIN] either through stock ownership, options, or other derivatives. 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.
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