Nickel Prices Jump To Seven-Year High As Supply Woes Mount
Nickel is the latest industrial metal to ramp vertically on dwindling supply concerns sending prices in London to seven-year highs.
Contracts for the industrial metal on the London Metal Exchange jumped 4.6% to $20,963 per metric ton on Wednesday, the highest since May 2014.
Nickel — used in kitchen wares, smartphones, medical equipment, transport, buildings, batteries, and jewelry — has doubled in price this year.
“At this juncture, watch the critical cash-three month gap, which is already backwardation and has the scope to widen further. It was last at $83/ton, the biggest in two years. Spiking spreads have been an important feature for record-setting tin, which has rallied almost 90% this year, and similarly in the copper market,” Bloomberg said.
Tightening supply is primarily due to Vale SA, one of the world’s top nickel producers, slashing its production outlook for the year due to a strike at its Canadian mine. MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, the world’s largest refined nickel producer, reported declining output in the third quarter. The second-largest metal producer, the Philippines, said output this year would be 10% less than the annual average due to torrential rains and declining vessels for transport.
On Tuesday, Vale said its nickel output would be in the range of 165,000 to 170,000 tons versus earlier projections of 200,000 tons. This news was one day after courts suspended operations at its Onca Puma mine in Brazil.
On Wednesday, Tesla’s CFO Zachary Kirkhorn revealed the company had seen an impact from soaring industrial metal prices, particularly aluminum and nickel. He said this prompted Tesla to swap out nickel-based batteries iron-based batteries for its standard Model 3 and Model Y models across world markets to save costs.
BloombergNEF expects the nickel price to remain over $18,000 per ton for the year.
The latest rise of industrial metals comes from China, where smelters have been taken offline as the Beijing reduces power to energy-intensive industries amid a power crunch.
Inflation expectations have been rising on the backs of higher metal prices.
Tightening nickel supplies can extend price gains, echoing recent ramps in aluminum and copper markets.
PEI Connect: Nuclear power supports quantum computing
We explore how Helium-3, a by-product of nuclear power generation, can support quantum computing and other applications.
The post PEI Connect: Nuclear…
PEi Connect provides a brief look at what got our attention during the week (2-9 Dec) and first up we consider a story about how Helium-3, a by-product of nuclear power generation, can support quantum computing and other applications.
Beyond scientific frontiers
Canada’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is using a new tool to extract Helium-3 from stored tritium.
Helium-3 is a rare but stable isotope with unique physical properties that make it suitable for use in a range of applications, notably quantum computing with its requirement for an ultracold operating environment close to absolute zero (-273°C). Read more about this innovative project.
Is rooftop hydrogen a thing?
Even though it might be a good few years away, scientists have suggested that rooftop hydrogen generated by small-scale electrolysers is not only feasible but holds great potential to decarbonise energy.
An interesting article by M. Ramesh for The Hindu Business Line delves into how India might benefit from an alternative to rooftop solar and expensive battery storage and unpacks the promise of emergent technologies that could change the face of electrolysis in the near future. Read more.
Pufferfish or photovoltaics
German engineering firm Schlaich Bergermann Partner has installed a floating PV system in Hungary that is designed to inflate like pufferfish.
The floats consist of air-filled membrane tubes and internal pressure of the tubes can be adapted according to the site and environmental conditions. The project has been named Gömbhal, Hungarian for pufferfish, and has been hailed as the first bifacial floating PV system. Read more.
Earth’s Black Box
Scientists and artists in Australia plan to build an indestructible black box to store data recording how the world dealt with climate change.
Based on the concept of a black box flight data recorder, the idea behind its creation is to ensure a record of all our efforts to combat climate change, as well as hold leaders accountable for their actions.
The 10-metre-long steel monolith will be based in Tasmania. It’s designed to withstand natural disasters and will be powered by solar and thermal energy.
Elon Musk’s take on nuclear
And it seems Musk isn’t alone in his pro-nuclear sentiments. Surprisingly, a recent survey conducted by YouGov shows a slight majority of respondents from Germany are open to nuclear as an option to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Germany took a firm stance against nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, however, locals are warming to the power source as Europe prioritises the fight against climate change.
According to the survey, 22% said nuclear power is “very important” in the fight against global warming and should be given equal weight to renewables. View the survey findings.
Connect with us next week for another selection of interesting sector news.
Until then, take care, stay safe and power on.
The PEi Ed team ????
The post PEI Connect: Nuclear power supports quantum computing appeared first on Power Engineering International.
Monsters of Rock: Hydrogen an investor gold mine, actual gold looks ‘asthmatic’
The Materials sector – comprising mostly large and mid-cap miners – edged lower today but preserves a healthy +6% gain … Read More
The post Monsters…
The Materials sector – comprising mostly large and mid-cap miners – edged lower today but preserves a healthy +6% gain over the past month.
The iron ore miners fell marginally – sans FMG – despite the steelmaking ingredient’s move above $US110/t over the last few days.
The day was dominated by mid-cap Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) which announced a binding lithium offtake deal with behemoth Volkswagen Group — the world’s largest automaker by revenue and the largest company in Germany.
Hydrogen remains an investor gold mine
FMG’s (ASX:FMG) positive move (1.5%) may have been hydrogen related.
It’s renewable energy arm, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), has formed a JV with domestic utility AGL Energy to look at converting two coal-fired power plants to produce hydrogen.
FFI is looking to repurpose infrastructure at the 1,680MW Liddell power station in the Hunter Valley region of NSW — earmarked to fully close by April 2023 — along with the 2,640MW Bayswater power station that is forecast to close by 2036.
Initial renewable electricity production through new wind and solar capacity could be 250MW, generating 30,000 t/yr of green hydrogen at a Hunter Energy Hub, FFI said.
Meanwhile, global commodities trading firm Trafigura has announced plans to build an ammonia and hydrogen plant at Port Pirie in South Australia with an initial production capacity of 20 t/d of green ammonia for export by 2025.
Trafigura plans to make a final investment decision by the end of next year, with construction starting in 2023.
…while actual gold looks ‘asthmatic’
Australia’s biggest gold miner NCM – which is making substantial profits at current prices — is down 5.65% over the past month and 12.81% year-to-date.
Jeffrey Halley Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA says golds “asthmatic” attempt to rise overnight “is a warning that bullishness is very fragile and that selling will resume at the first sign of trouble”.
“The downside continues to be very clearly, the path of least resistance,” he says.
“In the bigger picture, gold still looks confined to a US$1,770.00 to US$1,800.00 range this week, unable to sustain momentum above or below those levels.”
“The 50,100 and 200-day moving averages (DMAs), clustered between US$1,790.30 and US$1,795.50 are capping gains.”
“$1800.00 and $1810.00 will prove equally formidable. Support lies at US$1,770.00 and US$1,760.00.”
The post Monsters of Rock: Hydrogen an investor gold mine, actual gold looks ‘asthmatic’ appeared first on Stockhead.
Great Southern is zeroing in on large anomaly at East Laverton nickel project
Special Report: An EM survey has uncovered a tantalising target at its East Laverton nickel project, just 45km away from … Read More
The post Great Southern…
An EM survey has uncovered a tantalising target at its East Laverton nickel project, just 45km away from Great Southern’s Duketon gold project where drilling is currently underway.
A large, 2km by 1km almost-vertical conductor has drawn the most attention out of the multiple bedrock anomalies identified by Great Southern, due to its favourable position for hosting a massive sulphide accumulations.
That this conductor is also coincident with the edge of the ‘Diorite Hill’ regional gravity anomaly only adds to its potential as a blind nickel sulphide discovery.
East Laverton is dominated by the highly prospective ‘Diorite Hill’ magmatic complex, a feature which is covered shallow modern sands.
This has hampered previous exploration.
Small wonder then that Great Southern Mining (ASX:GSN) has started designing a follow-up, tighter-spaced EM survey to refine the geometry of the modelled conductors ahead of drill testing in 2022.
“GSN has identified the East Laverton Project as highly prospective for nickel sulphide discoveries,” chief executive officer Sean Gregory said.
“This recent MLEM survey was the first modern ground-based EM survey over Diorite Hill and has identified a bedrock conductor in a favourable geological environment that represents a very intriguing target.”
MLEM and the four anomalies
The MLEM survey was designed and modelled by Bill Amann from exploration and geophysical consultants Newexco Exploration, who were instrumental in the discovery of numerous major nickel sulphide deposits in WA, including Nova.
It involved the laying of transmitter loops on a 1,200m by 1,200m spacing covering 70sqkm.
This identified four EM anomalies consistent with possible bedrock conductors that were then subject to infill soundings that enabled three of the anomalies to be modelled.
Great Southern identified the strongest anomaly in the southeast of the survey area at a depth of about 300m.
The Diorite Hill layered ultramafic magmatic intrusion has the potential to host large nickel sulphide deposits of the magmatic type, a style of mineralisation that was previously overlooked until the discovery of the Nova-Bollinger deposit in 2012.
While exploration at the East Laverton project is still in its early stages, the identification of highly prospective EM anomalies in a region that has hosted recent major nickel finds such as Duketon Mining’s Rosie deposit and Poseidon Nickel’s Mt Windarra mine is a tantalising hint that the company must follow up on.
Finding a nickel sulphide deposit will certainly be significant for Great Southern despite its current gold focus, thanks to the growing demand for nickel coupled with dwindling global supplies.
Rystad Energy has forecast that demand for the battery metal will increase from 2.5 million tonnes this year to 3.4Mt in 2024 due to its growing use in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.
The post Great Southern is zeroing in on large anomaly at East Laverton nickel project appeared first on Stockhead.
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