Welcome to the nickel miners news for September.
The past month saw slightly improved nickel prices and a busy month of news mostly for the nickel juniors.
As of September 29, the nickel spot price was USD 9.93, slightly higher than USD 9.73 last month. LME shows the price at USD 21,858/tonne. Nickel inventory at the London Metals Exchange [LME] was lower the past month at 51,792 tonnes (54,846 tonnes last month).
Nickel spot price chart - Current price = USD 9.93/lb
Norilsk Nickel forecasts a mild nickel surplus in 2022 (as of Aug. 2022)
BloombergNEF forecasts 'battery' nickel demand set to surge over ten fold this decade as the EV boom takes off (2020 chart)
UBS forecasts Year battery metals go into deficit (2021 chart) - Source: UBS courtesy Carlos Vincens LinkedIn
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
2022 - IEA forecasts 60 new nickel mines needed by 2030
BMI forecasts we need 330+ new EV metal mines from 2022 to 2035 to meet surging demand - 72 new 45,500tpa nickel mines needed by 2035
On August 22 Fastmarkets reported:
Concerns build among traders about LME warehouse stocks. Physical metal and London Metal Exchange warrant traders have voiced increasing concerns to Fastmarkets over the current low stock levels in LME-listed warehouses globally. On-warrant base metals stocks in LME warehouses totaled 400,302 tonnes on Wednesday August 17, with total stocks standing at 579,979 tonnes. This represents a 58% decrease in total stocks since the beginning of the year, when stocks stood at 1,380,100 tonnes globally. "Most markets fundamentally remain tight at the moment; everywhere you look stocks are falling," a trader told Fastmarkets.
On September 1, Kallanish reported: "Ford urges Biden administration to expedite battery metals mining in US."
On September 1 Seeking Alpha reported:
Tesla appears to be ramping up interest in manufacturing in Canada. Tesla is continuing to look at potential advanced manufacturing sites in Canada, according to filings related to lobbying activities.
On September 6 Benchmark Mineral Intelligence reported:
...More than 300 new mines could need to be built over the next decade to meet the demand for electric vehicle and energy storage batteries, according to a Benchmark forecast. At least 384 new mines for graphite, lithium, nickel and cobalt are required to meet demand by 2035, based on average mine sizes in each industry, according to Benchmark. Taking into account recycling of raw materials, the number is around 336 mines... Yet another 72 mining projects with an average size of 42,500 tonnes will be required to meet battery demand for refined nickel, according to Benchmark.
Note: Bold emphasis by the author.
On September 12 capital.com reported:
Nickel price forecast: Price weakens as demand falls... Rising supply from Indonesia, the world's top nickel producer, has also weighed on the price of the metal that is used to make stainless steel, amid sluggish demand... Even though nickel inventories have decreased by 50% since the beginning of the year, this hasn't done much to stop the price from declining... On 9 September 2022, ANZ Research forecast nickel to average $25,350 a tonne in 2022, climbing to $25,800 in 2023 and $23,700 in 2024... Trading Economics expected nickel to trade at $24,290.62 a tonne by the end of this quarter, based on its global macro models and analysts' expectations as of 12 September. In addition, the economic data provider estimated the metal to average $28,767.63 in 12 months' time.
On September 15 Reuters reported:
Analysis: Industrial users flee LME nickel, deepening market fissures. Nickel deliverable against LME contract only 21% of market... in the wake of trade mayhem earlier this year... The exchange says it is working on potential improvements.
Vale plans a US$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 September 7, Vale SA announced:
Vale presents initiatives to achieve the full potential of Base Metals business and informs about estimates updates.
Vale production forecasts this decade for nickel and copper
On August 23, Norilsk Nickel announced: "Nornickel to add new innovative nickel and cobalt alloys to its range..."
On September 16, Norilsk Nickel announced: "Nornickel provides further update on noteholders' consent solicitation."
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. Stage 1 production of the Kwinana Nickel Refinery is aimed to be 100ktpa nickel sulphate.
On September 6, BHP Group announced:
Nickel West takes big steps on pathway to net zero. Nickel West has signed three renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the asset. In April 2022, Nickel West signed a power deal with Enel Green Power, a leading multinational renewable energy company within the Enel Group, to underpin construction of the Flat Rocks Wind Farm near the Great Southern town of Kojonup, in Western Australia. At a tip height of 200 metres, the wind farm will comprise the 18 tallest wind turbines in Western Australia and is expected to produce 315 GWh per annum. Construction commenced in 2022 with first power anticipated by October 2023.
On September 20, BHP Group announced:
First large-scale Port Hedland solar battery hybrid project. BHP expects to halve emissions from the generation of electricity used to power its WA Iron Ore port facilities in Port Hedland by the end of 2024.
BHP's Nickel West operations
No nickel related news for the month.
No news for the month.
No news for the month.
On September 14, Anglo American announced: "Anglo American launches €745 million sustainability-linked bond."
On September 6, Eramet announced: "Eramet commits to responsible development of the mining industry in Indonesia and to being audited against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining."
No news for the month.
On August 30, IGO Limited announced: "FY22 Cosmos and Forrestania resources and reserves."
On August 30, IGO Limited announced: "Strong annual financial results and expansion of IGO's nickel business." Highlights include:
On August 30, IGO Limited announced: "Sustainability report 2022..."
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 16, Panoramic Resources announced: "2022 sustainability report..."
On September 16, Panoramic Resources announced:
2022 annual report. Victor Rajasooriar Managing Director and CEO stated, "...Our balance sheet is in good condition and should improve during FY2023 as operations ramp up... We have tried hard to make a positive contribution in our local community in the Kimberley and will continue this focus in the coming year. I look forward to leading our team as together we continue the safe and efficient ramp-up of the Savannah operation in FY2023."
On August 31, Nickel Industries Limited announced: "Half year reports and dividend declaration." Highlights include:
Highlights for the 6 Months to 30 June 2022 (in US$ unless otherwise stated):
On September 12, Nickel Industries Limited announced: "Hengjaya resource upgrade." Highlights include:
On September 16, Nickel Industries Limited announced:
Hengjaya mine resource upgrade additional information. Commenting on the upgraded Resource Managing Director Justin Werner said: "We are delighted to deliver a significant increase in our Resource at the Hengjaya Mine from 2.4 million tonnes to 3.7 million tonnes of contained nickel metal representing a 56% increase, with further upside remaining. This places the Hengjaya Mine amongst the top 10 global nickel resources, highlighting the world class size of the deposit..."
On September 21, Nickel Industries Limited announced: "Strategic cooperation agreement signed with QMB New Energy Materials." Highlights include:
On September 28, Nickel Industries Limited announced: "Ownership interest in Oracle Nickel Project increased to 70%."
Owns the Kambalda Nickel Operations (includes the Cassini nickel sulphide mine), just south of Kambalda in Western Australia. First nickel concentrate production began in Q2 2022.
On August 31, Mincor Resources announced:
Financial report 30 June 2022... During the year, the Company's exploration activities primarily focused on drilling at the Golden Mile and Hartley prospects... In September 2021, the Company announced a $65.0 million Capital Raising, which comprised a $60.0 million Placement and a $5.0 million Share Purchase Plan ("SPP")... Following the Capital Raising, the Company replaced the previous $55.0 million Project Finance Facility with a $30.0 million Revolving Credit Facility ("RCF") with BNP Paribas. At 30 June 2022, the RCF was fully drawn... Nickel ore tonnes delivered to BHP in FY2022 totalled 66,627 tonnes of lower grade development ore at an average grade of 2.11% Ni for 1,404 tonnes of nickel in ore, which generated $36.8 million in gross revenue (before deduction of pricing adjustments associated with processing costs)...
First Quantum Minerals [TSX:FM] (OTCPK:FQVLF), Franco/Nevada [TSX:FNV] (FNV), MMG [HK:1208], South32 [ASX:S32] (OTCPK:SHTLF), Lundin Mining [TSX:LUN] (OTCPK:LUNMF), Nickel Asia Corporation [PSE:NIKL] (OTC:NIKAY), Platinum Group Metals [TSX:PTM] (PLG).
Horizonte is developing its 100% owned Araguaia Nickel Project (Araguaia) as Brazil's next major ferronickel mine.
On September 26, Horizonte Minerals Plc announced:
Araguaia Nickel Project approved as a Strategic Minerals Project by the Brazilian Government. Jeremy Martin, CEO of Horizonte Minerals, commented: "The selection of the Araguaia Nickel Project as a Strategic Minerals Project further demonstrates the global importance of nickel as a critical metal of the future as well as the project's strategic importance to Brazil. We recognise the positive steps the Brazilian Government are taking to help expedite these strategically important projects and we look forward to working closely with them as we advance Araguaia towards production."
On September 16, Poseidon Nickel announced:
Annual financial report for the year ended 30 June 2022. During the year the Company raised $22 million (before costs) through a private placement of ordinary shares and raised a further $6 million under a share purchase plan. The Company ended the year with $11.1 million cash and cash equivalents...
On September 27, Poseidon Nickel announced: "Corporate and operations update." Highlights include:
Black Swan Feasibility Study
On September 9, Amur Minerals Corp. announced: "Interim results 2022..."
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.
On September 8, Talon Metals announced:
US EV battery supply chain: Talon Metals hits 29.39 meters grading 2.21% nickel equivalent at the Tamarack Nickel Project... Henri van Rooyen, CEO of Talon said: "While drilling continues in both the CGO West and Main Zone (the Tamarack Nickel Project's defined resource area) to further expand the Company's resource, our ongoing work towards a feasibility study continues, with the goal of first production in 2026."
On September 22, Talon Metals announced:
US EV battery supply chain: Talon Metals sets record massive sulphide intercept length of 23.44 meters grading 6.04% Ni, 2.85% Cu (7.58% NiEq) at the Tamarack Nickel Project...
On September 26, Talon Metals announced:
US EV battery supply chain: Talon and Fleet Space to pilot satellite-enabled mineral exploration technology in the U.S...
On July 28, Garibaldi Resources announced: "Garibaldi intersects semi-massive nickel sulphides below E&L..."
Owns the West Musgrave nickel-copper project in Western Australia as well as several other mines.
On August 26, OZ Minerals announced: "OZ Minerals 2022 half year financial results." Highlights include:
On August 26, OZ Minerals announced: "OZ Minerals set to ride electrification growth wave." Highlights include:
On August 31, OZ Minerals announced: "Havilah shareholders approve Kalkaroo Option."
On September 23, OZ Minerals announced: "Green light for West Musgrave Project." Highlights include:
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 September 1, St George Mining Ltd. announced:
New highly prospective nickel sulphide targets identified at Mt Alexander Project... Drilling of targets planned for Q4 2022.
On September 7, Sama Resources announced:
Sama reports additional high-grade drill intercepts from the Grata Prospect, located in the Ivory Coast, West Africa. Hole GR-17 intercepted 303 metres of mineralisation including 8.1 metres of 1.00% nickel, 0.81% copper and 1.13 gpt palladium. Hole GR-15 intercepted 199 metres of mineralisation including 8.5 metres of 0.86% nickel, 0.86% copper and 1.00 gpt palladium.
On August 30, Premium Nickel Resources Ltd. announced:
Premium Nickel Resources Ltd. reports assays on historic core samples from Selkirk Property and bulk tonnage open pit potential. DSLK278: 139.52 metres grading 0.46% nickel, 0.54% copper, 0.03% cobalt, 0.210 g/t platinum, 0.888 g/t palladium, 0.093 g/t gold...
On September 6, Premium Nickel Resources Ltd. announced: "Premium Nickel Resources Ltd. reports additional assays on historic core samples and update on underground grab sample assays from Selkirk Mine." Highlights include:
On September 13, Premium Nickel Resources Ltd. announced:
Premium Nickel Resources Ltd. reports additional assay results at its 100% owned Selebi Mine in Botswana: 6.40 metres of 0.52% NI, 2.63% CU, 1.51% NIEQ.
No news for the month.
On September 1, Giga Metals announced:
Giga Metals and Mitsubishi Corporation complete joint venture transaction. Martin Vydra, President of Giga Metals Corporation (TSX.V: GIGA) ("Giga" or the "Company") announced today that the Company has completed its previously announced joint venture transaction with Mitsubishi Corporation ("MC") (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 8058) to form a new joint venture company, Hard Creek Nickel Corp. ("Hard Creek"), to jointly pursue the development of the Turnagain Nickel Deposit in northern British Columbia, Canada. Further to the announcement on August 15, 2022, MC has now acquired a 15% equity interest in Hard Creek in exchange for cash consideration of Cdn $8 million. Giga received an 85% equity interest in Hard Creek in exchange for contributing all related assets for the Turnagain Project. Pursuant to the terms of a shareholders' agreement governing Hard Creek, Giga, with support from MC, will operate the joint venture, reporting to the board of directors of Hard Creek, and will work on a Pre-Feasibility Study [PFS] for the Turnagain Project with completion expected in the first half of 2023.
On September 9, Ardea Resources announced:
Kalgoorlie Nickel Project strategy update... Settlement of Flow Sheet for the Feasibility Study... The project scale has been settled at a 3.5Mtpa operation comprising 2 x 1.5Mtpa High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) autoclaves combined with a 0.5Mtpa Atmospheric Leach (AL) circuit... Ardea requires off-take to be conditional upon the off-take partner facilitating a project development funding mechanism... Ardea is also continuing discussions with multiple Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) and advisors in jurisdictions aligned geopolitically with Australia and in which potential project partners are based. The preferred funding option for the KNP Goongarrie Hub development is a mixture of project debt and project equity, with indications of long tenor, favourable ECA debt funding terms being contemplated..."
On September 27, Ardea Resources announced: "2022 annual report."
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 September 7, Centaurus Metals Limited announced:
Condensed interim financial report 30 June 2022. The total comprehensive consolidated loss for the half-year was $19,435,991 (2021: $6,473,877). Included in the loss is exploration expenditure of $15,912,401 (2021: $4,682,835). At the end of the half-year the Group had a net cash balance of $60,132,379 (2021: $8,259,389) and net assets of $71,579,748 (2021: $16,750,646).
On September 8, Widgie Nickel announced: "Confidence in Gillett grows with impressive assay results." Highlights include:
On September 12, Widgie Nickel announced: "Financial report for the period 15 March 2021 to 30 June 2022..."
On September 12, Widgie Nickel announced: "Strong drilling results reaffirm Armstrong 2023 production aims."
On September 7, The Metals Company announced: "The Metals Company subsidiary, NORI, receives ISA recommendation to commence pilot nodule collection trials in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean." Highlights include:
Artemis Resources [ASV:ARV], Australian Mines [ASX:AUZ], Blackstone Minerals [ASX:BSX], Cassini Resources [ASX: CZI] (OTC:CSSQF), Class 1 Nickel and Technologies Ltd. [CSE:NICO] (OTCQB:NICLF), Electra Battery Materials [TSXV:ELBM] (ELBMF) (Electra Battery Materials Park), Electric Royalties [TSXV:ELEC], Flying Nickel Mining Corp. [TSXV:FLYN], FPX Nickel [TSXV:FPX], Grid Metals Corp [TSXV:GRDM], Go Metals [CSE:GOCO] (OTCPK:GOCOF), Horizonte Minerals Plc [TSXV:HZM] [LON:HZM] (OTCPK:HZMMF), Huntsman Exploration [TSXV:HMAN] (OTCPK:BBBMF), Inomin Mines [TSXV:MINE], Jervois Global Limited [ASX:JRV] (OTCQX:JRVMF), New Age Metals [TXV:NAM], Nickel Creek Platinum [TSX:NCP] (OTCQX:NCPCF), Nordic Nickel Limited [ASX:NNL], Pancontinental Resources Corporation [TSXV:PUC], Polymet Mining [TSX:POM], Power Nickel [TSXV:PNPN] (OTCQB:CMETF), Renforth Resources [CSE:RFR] (OTCQB:RFHRF), Rox Resources [ASX:RXL], S2 Resources (ASX:S2R), Stillwater Critical Minerals [TSXV:PGE] (OTCQB:PGEZF), Sunrise Energy Metals [ASX:SRL] (OTCQX:SREMF), Surge Battery Metals Inc. [TSXV:NILI] [FRA:DJ5C] (OTCPK:NILIF), Talisman Mining Ltd. [ASX:TLM], Tartisan Nickel Corp. [CSE:TN] (OTCQX:TTSRF), Transition Metals [TSXV:XTM], URU Metals Ltd. [LSE:URU] [GR:NVRA], Wall Bridge Mining [TSX:WM], and Zeb Nickel Corp. [TSXV:ZBNI] (OTCQB:ZBNIF).
Note: Some of the above companies are covered in the Cobalt monthly news.
Nickel spot prices were slightly higher the last month and the LME inventory was slightly lower.
Highlights for the month were:
As usual all comments are welcome.
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This article was written by
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], JERVOIS GLOBAL [TSXV:JRV], ELECTRA BATTERY MATERIALS [TSXV:ELBM], 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.