Financial news

Nickel Monthly News For The Month Of April 2020

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Via SeekingAlpha.com

Welcome to the nickel miners news for April. The past month saw nickel prices rise with several nickel mines impacted by COVID-19 suspensions. In particular, in the Philippines about 50% of nickel ore production has been suspended due to COVID-19.

Nickel price news

As of April 26, the nickel spot price was USD 5.56, up from USD 5.09 last month. Nickel inventory at the London Metals Exchange [LME] was about the same as last month at 231,132 tonnes (229,860 tonnes in February).

Nickel spot prices – 5-year chart – USD 5.56/lb

5 Year Nickel Prices - Nickel Price Chart

Source: InfoMine.com

Nickel demand v supply

The chart below shows nickel is forecast to be in deficit after ~2020-2022 (note it is a bit outdated now).

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.

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 March 31 Investing News reported:

Nickel miners in the Philippines hit by COVID-19 prevention measures…..The Philippines’ Surigao del Norte province is stepping up measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, leading to the suspension of mining operations starting on Wednesday (April 1), two nickel miners confirmed on Tuesday (March 31). Nickel Asia and Global Ferronickel, which account for more than half of the country’s nickel ore output, said in separate statements that they have received copies of the suspension order, dated Saturday (March 28), from the provincial government, according to Reuters. The Philippines is the second largest nickel-producing country in the world, with its output reaching 340,000 metric tons in 2019, down from 366,000 metric tons in 2018.

On April 1 The Jakarta Post reported:

Analysis: COVID-19 impacts on Indonesia’s nickel industry. In 2020, a surplus in the nickel market will increase as the COVID-19 pandemic will hurt demand. According to a report by Norilsk Nickel, one of the world’s leading nickel producers, nickel consumption is expected to grow only 2.8 percent in 2020, less than the earlier forecast of 3 percent. In term of volume, primary nickel consumption is expected to reach 2.45 million tons this year, down from the previous projection of 2.54 million tons.

On April 17 Roskill reported:

Nickel sulphate: GEM and ECOPRO to build high-nickel Li-ion precursor capacity in Fujian……The JV will be dedicated to production of NCA and high-nickel NCM cathode precursor materials, targeting an initial capacity of 24ktpy by 2022 and 48ktpy by 2024.

On April 28 Fasmarkets reported:

Metals prices mixed but China’s plan to subsidize inventory stockpiling likely to provide support……Talk that Chinese provincial governments are offering to subsidize inventory accumulation could well turn out to be a supportive factor.

Nickel Company News

Producers

Vale SA (NYSE:VALE)

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

On April 8, Vale SA announced:

Vale extends care and maintenance period at Voisey’s Bay. Vale S.A. (“Vale”) informs that it is extending the care and maintenance period at its Voisey’s Bay mine in Labrador, Canada by up to three months while continuing to monitor progress and events associated with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

On April 9, Vale SA announced: “Vale updates about temporary aid package for suppliers.”

On April 14, Vale SA announced:

Vale informs on judicial decision. Vale S.A. (“Vale”) informs on the decision by the 1st Court of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, issued on April 14th, 2020, regarding the request for a preliminary injunction within the scope of the lawsuit 5000885-66.2020.8.13.0461 proposed by the Public Prosecution Office of the State of Minas Gerais, that determined, among others, the freezing of Vale’s funds in the amount of R$ 50 million solely to ensure the compensation for losses that could be caused as a result of the evacuation of the residents of the flooding area in case of a hypothetical rupture of the Doutor dam, which is owned by Vale. Additionally, the judge ordered that within thirty days from the date of the evacuation, Vale initiates payments, until the final resettlement, of monthly emergency installments to all people that were relocated from their homes in the amount of 1 [ONE] Brazilian minimum wage to adults, 1/2 (one-half) of the minimum wage to adolescents and 1/4 (one-fourth) of the minimum wage to children. Vale estimates that 229 people will start receiving the emergency payment.

On April 17, Vale SA announced:

Vale’s production and sales in 1q20. Production of finished nickel was strong, for a first quarter at 53.2 kt, despite the decline of 2.9% year on year, as 1Q19 also presented a solid performance. The sequential decline of 6.2% from 4Q19 was mainly due to seasonality and routine scheduled maintenance at PTVI site and at the Matsusaka refinery in 1Q20, along with lower source ore from Canadian and Indonesian operations being processed at the Clydach and Dalian refineries, respectively.

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

On April 7, Norilsk Nickel announced:

Nornickel Board of Directors decides to hold AGM in absentia and recommends final dividend for FY2019. The AGM will be held on 13 May 2020. The AGM record date has been set on 20 April 2020. The Board of Directors has recommended for the AGM approval the final dividend for the financial year 2019 in the amount of RUB 557.2 per ordinary share (approximately USD 7.3 at the RUB/USD exchange rate set by the Russian Central Bank as of April 7, 2020). The final dividend will amount to a total of RUB 88.2 bn (approximately USD 1.2 bn at the RUB/USD exchange rate set by the Russian Central Bank as of April 7, 2020). The total dividend distribution for the FY 2019 will amount to USD 4.8 bn, including the interim dividends for six and nine months of 2019 which have been already paid to shareholders (for a total amount of approximately USD 3.6 bn). The Board of Directors has proposed to set the dividend record date on 25 May 2020.

On April 10, Norilsk Nickel announced:

Nornickel’s sustainable development report: reducing emissions and setting new goals.

On April 13, Norilsk Nickel announced: “Nornickel allocates RUB 10.5 billion to fight coronavirus and help maintaining social stability.”

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Investors can read my article “An Update On Norilsk Nickel.”

BHP Group [ASX:BHP] (NYSE:BHP)

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

On March 30, BHP Group announced: “Chile – BHP’s US$8 million plan to strengthen the public health network facing the spread of COVID-19 in Chile.”

On March 31, BHP Group announced: “Rail operations employees relocate to keep Pilbara operations moving.”

On April 18, BHP Group announced: “BHP establishes a US$25 million fund to aid contractor companies in Chile.”

On April 21, BHP Group announced: “BHP operational review for the nine months ended 31 March 2020.” Regarding Nickel: “Higher volumes following completion of major maintenance activities at the Kwinana refinery and Kalgoorlie smelter in the prior quarter.” Nickel production for the March 2020 YTD was 56kt, down 4% on March 2019 YTD. Volumes were 53% higher than the past quarter.

On April 24, BHP Group announced: “BHP partners with health services to deliver COVID-19 testing centres in regional Central Queensland.”

Jinchuan Group [HK:2362]

No news for the month.

Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF) [LSX:GLEN]

On March 31, Glencore announced:

2020 distribution and revolving credit facilities. To support this commitment, the Board believes it prudent to defer its decision as to whether to proceed with the proposed cash distribution of $0.20 per share (c. $2.6 billion) in 2020, amid the current period of exceptional economic uncertainty. We have also reinforced our liquidity position ($10.1 billion of committed available liquidity as at 31 December 2019) through the refinancing and extension (see below) of our revolving credit facilities (the “Facilities”) on the same commercial terms as our 2019 Facilities.

On April 9, Glencore announced:

Glencore community support fund. To support their efforts, today, we are announcing the launch of the Glencore Community Support Fund ($25m).

On April 14, Glencore announced:

Update on COVID-19. Glencore continues to engage with the relevant authorities, unions and other stakeholders regarding the steps we are taking to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our operations…..While the majority of our operations have not been materially impacted, the following provides an update on the impacts that have occurred at certain of our assets since our previous update on 26 March. As previously reported, we intend to provide updated guidance in respect of 2020 production, key industrial division unit costs and capital expenditure, alongside our Q1 production report, scheduled for release on 30 April.

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. (OTCPK:SMMYY)

On April 1, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. announced: “FY2020 metal production plans.” FY2020 electrolytic nickel production plan is 60,800t.

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

On April 23, Anglo American announced: “Q1 2020 production report.” Q1 2020 nickel produced was 10.9kt, up 11% on Q1 2019.

You can view a company presentation here.

Eramet (OTCPK:ERMAY)

On April 28 Eramet reported:

Eramet: Q1 2020 sales of €774m, down 11%, affected by the decline in material prices (a sharp decline in manganese ore and ferronickel prices). Limited impact of Covid-19 pandemicon the Group’s activity in Q1 2020. New Q1 operational recordsfor the Mining and Metals division:

  • 1.3 Mt in produced manganese ore volumes (+28% vs. Q1 2019).
  • 918 kwmt in produced nickel ore volumes (+5%).
  • 331 kwmt in nickel ore exports (+41%).
  • Q1 2020 production volumes have been sold in full.

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

On April 8, Sherritt International announced:

Sherritt announces continuing discussions with key stakeholders in connection with its transaction and postponement of meetings.

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

On April 21, IGO Limited announced: “New Century launches A$51.1 million capital raising, with IGO Limited acquiring a strategic stake of up to 18.4%.” Highlights Include:

  • “Capital raising of A$51.1 million via a placement and fully underwritten accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer.
  • IGO Limited [ASX: IGO] to invest up to A$27 million, taking up to an 18.4% stake and entering a strategic relationship for ongoing collaborative assessment of Century exploration potential & other resource assets within the clean energy metals sector.
  • Issue price of both the placement & entitlement offer is A$0.15/share, representing a 19.0% premium to the 5-day VWAP.
  • Entitlement offer fully underwritten by Canaccord Genuity [Australia] Limited.”

On April 23, IGO Limited announced: “IGO preparing to re-commence drilling at IGO-ORN Joint Venture Tenements – Fraser Range, Australia. New phase of exploration planned over three key prospect areas located just 16km from Legend Mining’s recently confirmed Mawson nickel-copper discovery.”

On April 24, IGO Limited announced:

Successful completion of placement to IGO Limited as part of fully underwritten A$51.1 million capital raise. New Century Resources Limited [New Century or the Company] [ASX:NCZ] is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed its A$23.775 million placement to IGO Limited [IGO] [Placement] as part of the subscription agreement (Subscription Agreement) announced on 21 April 2020. Pursuant to the Placement, 158,500,000 new fully paid ordinary shares in the Company (New Shares) were issued to IGO today at an issue price of A$0.15 each to raise a total of A$23.775 million.

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

On April 24, Western Areas Ltd. announced: “Activity report for the period ending 31 March 2020 fy20 guidance on track and continuing good progress at Odysseus.” Highlights include:

  • “Covid-19 management plans implemented with a focus on the health and safety of our employees, contractors and the broader community in which we operate.
  • Nickel production and sales volumes proceeded as planned during the March quarter with guidance remaining on track for FY20, following implementation of Covid-19 plans.
  • Nickel production contained in ore mined of 5,896 tonnes.
  • Mill production of 5,154 nickel tonnes in concentrate.
  • Unit cash cost of nickel in concentrate of A$3.07/lb [YTD A$3.07/lb vs FY20 guidance of A$2.90/lb to A$3.30/lb].
  • Higher nickel sales of 6,038 nickel tonnes.
  • Operating cashflow of A$22.5m with cash at bank of A$181.4m and no debt.
  • Odysseus underground mine rehabilitation and surface infrastructure advancing with good progress.
  • Nickel offtake agreements seamlessly transitioned to new enhanced contracts.”

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 April 3, Panoramic Resources announced: “Loan agreement with Zeta Resources.” Highlights include:

  • Principal amount of $8.0million.
  • Interest rate of 6% per annum.
  • The loan is unsecured and subordinated to the Macquarie Bank Limited [Macquarie] Senior Facility.
  • The loan has a maturity date of 30 June 2022, unless repaid early.
  • Approximately $3.4million of the loan principal shall be off-set by the transfer of approximately 17.2million Horizon Gold shares agreed to be sold by Panoramic to Zeta, as announced on 30 March 2020 (Horizon Share Sale), if the Horizon Share Sale is approved by Panoramic shareholders.”
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On April 16, Panoramic Resources announced: “Operations update.” Highlights include:

  • “Temporary suspension of operations at Savannah Nickel Mine.
  • Production and cost guidance withdrawn.
  • Progression of potential funding options continues.”

Nickel Mines Ltd [ASX:NIC]

On April 1 Nickel Mines Ltd. announced: “COVID-19 response and production update.”

“For the March 2020 quarter, combined production was 11,291.3 tonnes of nickel metal (100% basis) representing a record quarter of production and a 2.9% increase on the December 2019 quarter.”

Source

RNC Minerals [TSX:RNX] (OTCQX:RNKLF)

On April 15, RNC Minerals announced:

RNC Minerals announces normal course issuer bid…..RNC Minerals announced today that it has received the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) for a normal course issuer bid (the “Bid”) to purchase up to no more than 30,415,198 of its issued and outstanding common shares (the “Common Shares”).

On April 20, RNC Minerals announced: “RNC announces strong first quarter gold production of 24,816 oz and March 31, 2020 cash balance of $38.4 million.”

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

No news for the month.

Other nickel producers

Franco/Nevada [TSX:FNV], MMG [HK:1208], South32 [ASX:S32], Lundin Mining [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 April 3, Amur Minerals Corp. announced:

Grant of pptions. 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 a grant of 30,000,000 share options over Ordinary Shares (“Share Options”) to certain Directors, executives and employees.

On April 16, Amur Minerals Corp. announced:

Equity placing. Amur Minerals Corporation is pleased to announce that it has placed, subject only to admission to trading on AIM, 75,000,000 new Ordinary Shares in the Company (the “Placing Shares”) at a price of 1p per share to raise gross proceeds of £750,000 (the “Placing”).

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

On April 14, Poseidon Nickel announced: “Exceptional grades received at Golden Swan and Windarra gold tailings update.”

Golden Swan Intersection (new high-grade, nickel sulphide discovery)

  • “Golden Swan maiden hole discovers high grade Ni-Cu-Co massive sulphides in the Black Swan channel adjacent to Silver Swan.
  • Composite assays for PBSD0029A include: 7.6m @ 8.8% Ni (true width = 4.3m) – Includes 2.1m massive sulphides @ 15.9% Ni (true width 1.2m) total interval 23.1m @ 4.0% Ni & 0.4% Cu (true width = 13.3m).
  • Drilling and Electromagnetic surveying [EM] to continue.”

Windarra Gold Tailings

  • “Scoping Study underway on the Windarra Gold Tailings Project.
  • Gold Tailings Resource being updated to JORC2012.”

On April 28, Poseidon Nickel announced: “Quarterly report 31 March 2020…..”

Reserve upgrade – Silver Swan

  • “Updated Ore Reserve for Silver Swan delivered 106% increase in contained nickel metal to 130,000t @ 5.2% Ni (6,800 Ni tonnes).”

Exploration

  • Assays received from RC program at Windarra’s Crazy Diamond Prospect: PNRC0309 intersects 5m @ 0.75% Ni from 12m; including 1m @ 1.38% (approx. 0.8m true width). Anomalous gold mineralisation up to 0.5 g/t Au.

Corporate and financial

  • “Peter Harold commenced as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer on 3 March 2020.
  • Strong financial position with cash and current investments totaling $48.6 million.”

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

No news for the month.

Cassini Resources [ASX:CZI]

On April 16, Cassini Resources announced: “Drill results confirm Yarawindah Project part of an emerging Ni-Cu-PGE Province.” Highlights include:

  • “Third Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide prospect identified and named the “Ovis Prospect“.
  • Mineralisation at Ovis and Avena Prospects open at depth and along 2.5km of strike.
  • Compelling evidence for the emerging Ni-Cu-PGE New Norcia Nickel Sulphide Province.
  • Surface geochemistry and EM surveys underway.”

On April 23, Cassini Resources announced: “Activities report for the quarter ended 31 March 2020.” Highlights include:

Corporate

  • “Nebo-Babel PFS a significant milestone for the Company.
  • COVID-19 pandemic response.
  • Available Cash at end of Quarter $6.96M.”

West Musgrave Project [CZI 30%]

  • “High quality Pre-Feasibility Study places Nebo-Babel deposits in lowest quartile of forecast global nickel producers.
  • Robust economics on 26 year mine life, open pit, low carbon footprint operation.
  • Maiden Ore Reserve supports first 22 years of operation.
  • Project funding options to be progressed.
  • Opportunities to add additional value through further exploration and development activities across the 9,500km2 West Musgrave Province.”

Yarawindah Brook Project [CZI 80%]

  • “Significant Ni-Cu results from maiden drilling program.
  • Multiple Ni-Cu prospects identified.
  • Land position increased to 400km2.
  • Ongoing exploration in an emerging nickel province.”

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 April 1, St. George Mining Ltd announced: “St George achieves breakthrough results that significantly expand nickel-copper sulphide targets at Mt Alexander…….”

Assays for MAD177 confirm high-grade nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE sulphide mineralisation:

  • “Laboratory assays for metallurgical drill hole MAD177 have returned: 10.5m @ 4.82% Ni, 1.67% Cu, 0.15% Co and 2.87 total g/t PGEs from 182.5m, including 4m @ 7.53% Ni, 2.47% Cu, 0.23% Co and 3.92 total g/t PGEs from 186m.
  • Platinum group metals include high levels of Palladium and Rhodium –10.5m @ 2.33g/t Pd and 0.08g/t Rh including 4m @ 3.23g/t Pd and 0.1g/t Rh.
  • Metallurgical testwork is continuing in Perth.”

Scoping study for potential mining operation continues to advance:

  • “Phase 2 of environmental study planned for completion in Q2 2020.
  • Entech appointed as external geological consultant for the maiden mineral resource estimate for Mt Alexander.”

On April 8, St. George Mining Ltd announced: “Strong exploration results at Paterson province hotspot.”

On April 22, St. George Mining Ltd announced: “Mt survey continues to unlock the mineral system at Mt Alexander.”

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

No news for the month.

Horizonte Minerals [LN: HZN]

On April 8, Horizonte Minerals announced:

Final results for year ended 31 December 2019……….Strong cash balance of £17.8 million at year end, following injection of Orion funds….Company is well advanced on the financing process for the Araguaia Project…..Vermelho Nickel Cobalt Project 43-101 Prefeasibility Study released [PFS] demonstrating that the project can be a significant low-cost supplier of nickel and cobalt sulphate for the EV battery market: 38-year mine life. Cash flows after taxation of US$7.3 billion. IRR of over 26%. Sits on the lower half of the global cost curve.

Neometals [ASX:NMT]

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On April 16, Neometals announced: “60% increase in Armstrong Mineral Resource.” Highlights include:

  • “Reinterpreted Armstrong Mineral Resource increased by 60% to 630,000 tonnes at 2.1% nickel for 13,200 tonnes of contained nickel between 80 and 300 metres below surface.
  • Review of historical data combined with recent drilling success further defines the Armstrong massive nickel sulphide channel.
  • Global Mineral Resources at the Mt Edwards project increased to 8.02 million tonnes at 1.7% nickel for 135,500 tonnes of contained nickel across 11 deposits.
  • Strategy continues to build shareholder value at Mt Edwards, by defining higher grade massive mineralisation within the existing inventory, leading to evaluation and development of a pipeline of short lead-time nickel sulphide deposits.”

North American Nickel [TSXV:NAN]

No news for the month.

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 April 17, Conic Metals announced:

Conic releases Ramu q1 2020 production performance. On the commodity price front, LME nickel prices were up slightly in the period with the average cash settlement being US$5.77 per pound compared to US$5.61 per pound in Q1 2019. Nickel prices, like most base metal prices, have more recently been significantly impacted by the economic fallout from COVID-19. “Despite the recent decline in commodity prices and the continued downward economic trends in light of the global pandemic, Ramu was able to improve on 2019 production and continue to deliver product to customers. We have not seen a significant decline in demand for Ramu product at present”, added Mr. Cochrane.

Investors can view a recent CEO video here, or my recent CEO interview here on Trend Investing.

Canada Nickel Company [TSXV:CNC]

On April 7, Canada Nickel announced: “Canada Nickel Company announces discovery of new palladium-platinum zone and latest nickel intersections at Crawford, provides update on transaction with Noble Mineral Exploration Inc.” Highlights include:

  • Western most hole to date CR19-25 (130 metres west of existing resource), collared within higher grade zone, showed continuity of higher-grade zone with 0.34 % nickel across 44 metres.
  • Easternmost hole CR19-27 yielded 1.07% nickel and 2.0 g/t palladium + platinum across 1.5 metres outside existing nickel resource indicating potential for higher grade nickel along fault on eastern boundary.”

On April 13, Canada Nickel announced: “Canada Nickel Company announces filing of NI 43-101 technical report for previously announced Crawford Project Maiden Resource.”

On April 20, Canada Nickel announced: “Canada Nickel Company Inc. upsizes private placement financing.”

Investors can view a CEO video here, or my CEO interview here on Trend Investing.

Other juniors

Ardea Resources [ASX:ARL] (OTCPK:ARRRF), Artemis Resources [ASV:ARV], Australian Mines [ASX:AUZ], Blackstone Minerals [ASX:BSX], Cassini Resources [ASX: CZI] (OTC:CSSQF), Centaurus Metals [ASX:CTM], Clean TeQ [ASX:CLQ] [TSX:CLQ] (OTCQX:CTEQF), FPX Nickel [TSXV:FPX], Giga Metals [TSXV:GIGA], Grid Metals Corp [TSXV:GRDM, Inomin Mines [TSXV:MINE], New Age Metals [TXV:NAM], Nickel Creek Platinum [TSX:NCP] (OTCQX:NCPCF), Pancontinental Resources Corporation [TSXV:PUC], Polymet Mining [TSX:POM], Rox Resources [ASX:RXL], S2 Resources (ASX:S2R), Talisman Mining Ltd. [ASX:TLM], Talon Metals [TSXV:TLO], Transition Metals [TSXV:XTM], and Wall Bridge Mining [TSX:WM].

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

Conclusion

Nickel spot prices were higher and LME nickel inventory was flat in April.

Highlights for the month were:

  • Analysis: COVID-19 impacts on Indonesia’s nickel industry. In 2020, a surplus in the nickel market will increase as the COVID-19 pandemic will hurt demand.
  • Nickel miners in the Philippines hit by COVID-19 prevention measures, suspension orders impacting ~50% of Philippines supply.
  • Metals prices mixed but China’s plan to subsidize inventory stockpiling, likely to provide support.
  • Vale extends care and maintenance period at Voisey’s Bay for up to 3 months due to COVID-19. Production of finished nickel was strong, for a first quarter at 53.2 kt, despite the decline of 2.9% year on year, as 1Q19 also presented a solid performance.
  • Glencore – The majority of our operations have not been materially impacted by COVID-19.
  • Eramet: Q1 2020 sales of €774m, down 11%, affected by the decline in material prices (a sharp decline in manganese ore and ferronickel prices).
  • IGO limited buys an 18.4% stake for up to A$27 million in New Century Resources Limited, a top 10 zinc mine globally.
  • RNC Minerals to buyback up to no more than 30,415,198 shares in the next year.
  • Poseidon Nickel announced exceptional grades received at Golden Swan, including: 7.6m @ 8.8% Ni, 23.1m @ 4.0% Ni & 0.4% Cu.
  • Cassini Resources – Drill results confirm Yarawindah Project part of an emerging Ni-Cu-PGE Province.
  • St George Mining achieves breakthrough results that significantly expand nickel-copper sulphide targets at Mt Alexander. Plus high levels of Palladium and Rhodium –10.5m @ 2.33g/t Pd and 0.08g/t Rh.
  • Neometals – 60% increase in Armstrong Mineral Resource. Global Mineral Resources at the Mt Edwards project now at 135,500 tonnes of contained nickel, grading 1.7% nickel.
  • Canada Nickel Company announces discovery of new palladium-platinum zone and latest nickel intersections at Crawford.

As usual all comments are welcome.

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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.

Editor’s Note: This article covers one or more microcap stocks. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.




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