By St. Johns
The Voisey’s Bay open pit nickel mine in northern Labrador will be expanded to include underground mining, extending the life of the operation by 15 years, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced Thursday.
The provincial government said it has also agreed to allow mining giant Vale to delay completion of its $4-billion nickel processing plant in Long Harbour, which was considered the linchpin of the original development deal signed in 2002. Read more
By Lawrence Williams
There are hundreds of gold junior explorers – many of them in deep trouble at the moment – but if nickel is your thing then there aren’t many serious junior players in the nickel sector, not least juniors with a great resource in terms of tonnage and grade in an area surrounded by successful nickel operators with currently profitable projects, good infrastructure and a market on their doorstep. Read more
By Barry Fitzgerald
BHP Billiton has cranked up the potential for a $US4 billion ($3.89bn) spin-off of its ailing nickel division by making a big high-grade nickel discovery near its Perseverance mine at Leinster, 375km north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
Industry circles have been buzzing about the new find, which BHP has called Venus after the brightest planet Read more
TROUBLED miner Mirabela Nickel hopes to increase production to between 22,000 and 24,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate in 2013.
The Perth-based, Brazil-focused miner today said it had produced 19,253 tonnes during calendar 2012, that included 5291 tonnes in the last three months of the year. Read more
By Sarah Elks
CLIVE Palmer’s north Queensland nickel refinery has had to lodge an environmental plan with the state government to head off potential action over a breach of its operating licence.
Acting Queensland Premier Jeff Seeney has revealed the Queensland Nickel refinery Read more
AFTER nearly a year bedding down the $1.3 billion acquisition of copper company Anvil Mining, Minmetals Resources chief Andrew Michelmore feels both his company and asset valuations are in the right place for another $1bn-plus base metals purchase. Read more
By Lawrence Williams
As watchers of the world’s largest nickel and palladium miner will know Russian headquartered Norilsk Nickel has been beset by boardroom strife between the two Russian mining oligarchs who each own around 25% of the company – Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska’s United Company Rusal bought into Norilsk back in 2008 and he and Potanin have been at loggerheads virtually ever since over a number of issues. Read more
By Robin Bromby
CORRECTION, not capitulation (or cataclysm). Disappointment, not disaster. That’s the takeaway on commodity markets from some of the top London analysts. Read more
By Robb M. Stewart
BHP Billiton is again moving to cut costs and trim jobs at its Australian nickel operations as it struggles against depressed prices for the metal.
Some positions in areas such as human resources and finance are being reduced in another move to bolster the Nickel West unit in Western Australia. Read more
By Jae Hur and Ichiro Suzuki
A global nickel surplus may expand for a third year to the highest level since 2008 as supply from new mining projects outweighs China’s demand growth, Japan’s top producer said.
Supply will likely exceed demand by 60,000 metric tons in 2013, said Toru Higo, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. (5713)’s general manager of nickel sales and raw materials. Supply outstripped demand by 40,000 tons this year and 22,000 tons in 2011, he said. Read more
Canadian Arrow Mines of Sudbury, ON, has begun mining and stockpiling nickel bearing massive sulphides from its Kelex mine near Timmins. The ore will be custom milled at Xstrata’s Strathcona mill near Sudbury.
As initial mine development and overburden stripping progressed, unexpected near surface nickel bearing massive sulphides have been exposed. Read more
By Juan Pablo Spinetto
Vale SA (VALE3) forecasts it will miss base- metals output targets for a second year, fueling calls from analysts for the company to sell at least part of the business plagued by strikes and sinking prices.
Chief Executive Officer Murilo Ferreira, who led Vale’s $18.2 billion takeover of Canadian nickel producer Inco Ltd. (PCTN) in 2006 as head of base metals, said last month the Rio de Janeiro- based miner is studying options for the unit. Read more
By Barry FitzGerald
BHP Billiton’s $US450 million ($425m) writedown on the value of its West Australian nickel business was as sure a sign as there can be that the nickel industry is doing it tough. As much as 40 per cent of the global industry, including BHP in WA, is losing money at current prices of $US7 a pound for the stainless steel ingredient. Read more
By Peter Koven
One of the biggest challenges for mining companies these days is raising capital. Given how badly their stock prices have been beaten down, any equity financing would be massively dilutive.
Royal Nickel Corp. found a way around this dilemma on Wednesday. The Toronto-based company, which hopes to develop a giant nickel mine in Quebec, received a $12-million investment from Ressources Quebec, a new state-owned entity that was set up to invest in the province’s mining projects. Read more
Sherritt International of Toronto is pressing forward toward commercial production at the Ambatovy laterite nickel project of which it owns 40%. But, says the company, reaching commercial production may be delayed as the authorities in Madagascar have not yet issued the operating permit.
Said Sherritt: “The issuance of the operating permit is based on compliance with technical, health and safety, and environmental protection requirements. Read more
Prophecy Platinum’s Wellgreen deposit in Canada’s Yukon Territory contains a very large and rich base and precious metals resource. Read more
By Dorothy Kosich
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has lowered its price assumptions for nickel and aluminum for the rest of this year, noting that “most metals prices are unlikely to fall much further under our base-case scenario for 2012.”
“Our revised assumptions take into account the notable decline in spot prices for nickel and aluminum since our last update in January 2012, Read more
By Dorothy Kosich
In what likely will be a period of ups and downs, mining companies around the world share significant hurdles: slowing growth in the Chinese economy as well as economic uncertainty in Europe and the United States.
“Slowing growth in the Chinese economy will, in our view, almost certainly Read more
Prophecy Platinum Corp. (TSX-V: NKL, OTC-QX: PNIKF, Frankfurt: P94P) is an exploration company focused on developing platinum group metals and nickel sulphide projects. The company’s flagship Wellgreen Ni-Cu-PGM Nickel property is a unique base and precious metals project in Canada’s Yukon Territory with an NI 43-101 compliant report: 289 million tonnes in inferred resources with 0.38% Ni, 0.35% Cu, 1.18 g/t PGM+Au and 14 million tonnes indicated at 0.69% Ni, 0.62% Cu, 2.25 g/t PGM+Au. Executive editor Doug Hadfield spoke with co-founder Greg Hall at the World Resource Investment Conference in June.
Hard Creek Nickel Corp. (TSX: HNC) is developing the Turnagain Nickel deposit, a giant nickel sulphide deposit in north central British Columbia, Canada. A Preliminary Economic Assessment announced last year models initial production of 52 million pounds of nickel and 2.8 million pounds of cobalt per year in a high quality, 18% nickel concentrate for sale to smelters. Production ramps up in year six to 97 million pounds of nickel plus 5.3 million pounds of cobalt per year for the next sixteen years. That would make the company’s financial metrics very competitive with many other large greenfields nickel project in the world. Executive editor Doug Hadfield spoke with CEO Mark Jarvis about what’s required next to make Turnagain into a mine.