Welcome to the nickel miners news for November. The past month saw generally strong results from the nickel producers with several paying down and/or paying off all debt. The nickel juniors mostly progressed well.

Nickel price news

As of November 29, the nickel spot price was USD 7.28, up from USD 7.08 last month. Nickel inventory at the London Metals Exchange [LME] was slightly higher than last month at 241,752 tonnes (238,152 tonnes last month).

Nickel spot prices – Long term chart – Current price = USD 7.28/lb

Source: Mining.com

Nickel Long-term Price Projection

Source: Kalkine Media courtesy DIS

Nickel demand v supply charts

Battery nickel demand set to surge over ten fold this decade as the EV boom takes off

Source: Bloomberg

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

Investors can also read my past article: “Top 5 Nickel Miners To Consider Before The Nickel Boom.

Nickel Market News

On October 29 Forbes reported (quoting Wood Mackenzie):

The energy transition will be built with metals. Electrification is front and centre in the energy transition. The entire power value chain – from wind turbines and solar panels, transmission and distribution infrastructure to energy storage and batteries, electric vehicle [EV] charging and the rest – will be a winner……In any scenario, demand for metals goes up……The big five transition metals are copper, aluminium, nickel, cobalt and lithium. The biggest growth sector will be electric vehicles – a 2 °C or lower pathway will see demand soar from 5 million vehicles today to at least 80 million by 2030. The EV body will heavily rely on aluminium to minimise weight, and copper for wiring. The batteries for EVs and the emerging energy storage market will drive up demand for lithium, nickel and cobalt. Copper and aluminium are critical to the expansion of transmission and distribution grids, as are solar panels……We’re forecasting copper and aluminium demand to increase by about a third by 2040, nickel by two-thirds, and cobalt and lithium by 200% and 600%, respectively ……Our view is that we are two to three years away from any sustained economic recovery and the higher prices to incentivise investment in new supply.

On November 18 Bloomberg Green reported:

Tesla, utility giants form trade group calling for 100% EV sales. More than two dozen utilities, EV-charging companies, battery suppliers and EV manufacturers have formed the Zero Emission Transportation Association, which is calling for policies such as consumer incentives and emissions targets that will accelerate the shift to EVs. Group wants emissions caps, total EV adoption by 2030.

On November 23 MiningMx reported:

How do cobalt and nickel stack up in race to dominate electric vehicle battery market? There are a host of battery technologies under development including NCM (nickel, cobalt and manganese) battery whilst its long-time rival is the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery. Car technology company Tesla is developing a LMNO (lithium, manganese, nickel oxide) battery which it hopes to commercialise by 2022/23, whilst Johnson Matthey and BASF, the German chemicals giant, are developing a lithium nickel oxide battery. “All the battery commodities will see demand grow over the next 10 years on the back of the rise in EV sales,” said Morgan Stanley. But nickel would be “the biggest beneficiary whilst the technical evolution suggests cobalt will be thrifted out of EV batteries over the decade,” it said…… RBC Capital Markets, however, thinks there is potential for nickel to become as equal a price problem in cathodes, especially if new nickel demand behaves as forecast: 700,000 tons of new demand by 2023 to 2025 moving to 1.4 million tons by 2030…. “There is therefore in our view potential that cobalt regains some demand in batteries especially as nickel moves through its incentive pricing cycle,” it said. One metal likely to benefit in any eventuality is copper. Used in batteries, copper is also required in the infrastructural rollout required to support EV refuelling stations both domestically and in wider society. Manganese, hitherto relatively ignored in the battery metal equation largely owing to its small market share, is also a potential major beneficiary, especially as Tesla’s manganese-rich battery is developed, say analysts.

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 October 28, Vale SA announced:

Vale informs on estimates update. Vale S.A. (“Vale”), informs that it has updated today, in its third quarter 2020 earnings report, the estimate for capital expenditure in 2020 from US$ 4.6 billion to US$ 4.2 billion.

On October 28, Vale SA announced:

Vale’s performance in 3q20. Proforma adjusted EBITDA reached US$ 6.224 billion, US$ 2.638 billion higher than in 2Q20 and the highest since 4Q13. While EBITDA improved in all Vale’s business, the better result was mainly driven by the 26% increase of iron ore realized prices and 20% higher iron ore sales volumes in 3Q20…..LME nickel prices posted strong gains in 3Q20, averaging US$ 14,210/t compared to US$ 12,215/t in 2Q20. This represents a 16%, or nearly US$2,000/t, increase quarter over quarter. Total exchange inventories [LME and SHFE] had a net increase, closing at 266.8 kt by the end of 3Q20, an increase of 3.9 kt from the previous quarter…..Global stainless-steel production increased 14.5% in 3Q20 relative to 2Q20 as strong Chinese production continued to increase, offsetting weakness in Europe and North America. While global stainless-steel production is forecasted to be down 4% in 2020….. Our near-term view for nickel remains the same, we believe the market will be in surplus in 2020. COVID-19 has certainly impacted demand, particularly in the high-value markets, such as aerospace, automotive and oil & gas sectors. However, positive signs have emerged much sooner than expected, such as strength in Chinese stainless-steel production, a strong rebound in EV and automotive sales. Our long-term outlook for nickel continues to remain positive.

On November 4, Vale SA announced:

Vale enters into new exclusivity agreement to negotiate the sale of Vale New Caledonia. Vale S.A.

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

On November 3, Norilsk Nickel announced:

Nornickel board of directors recommends interim dividend for 9m 2020. The Board of Directors has recommended for the EGM approval an interim dividend for the nine months of 2020 in the amount of RUB 623.35 per ordinary share (approximately USD 7.74 at the RUB/USD exchange rate the Russian Central Bank as of November 3, 2020), totaling RUB 98.64 bn (approximately USD 1.2 bn). The Board of Directors has proposed to set the dividend record date (the list of shareholders entitled to the dividend) on December 24, 2020.

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

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 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 has plans to expand nickel sulphate production to meet future battery demand, with Stage 1 at Nickel West targeting expansion to 100ktpa nickel sulphate, and Stage 2 to follow.

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On November 24, BHP Group announced: “BHP’s subordinated note repurchase plan – price determination.”

On November 26, BHP Group announced:

Partnership to green the West End of Port Hedland. A $3million greening and amenity project is underway to help improve the overall aesthetics and amenity of the West End of Port Hedland.

Jinchuan Group [HK:2362]

On November 1, Jinchuan Group International Resources announced: “Operational update for the nine months ended 30 September 2020.” Only copper and cobalt were discussed.

Glencore [HK:805] [LSE:GLEN] (OTCPK:GLCNF)

On October 30, Glencore announced: “Third quarter 2020 production report.” Highlights include:

  • “The generally strong sequential quarterly production performance noted in the table above, in large part, reflects reversal of the various short-term Covid-19 related shutdowns in Q2, as mandated by several national/local governments.
  • Own sourced nickel production of 81,800 tonnes was 7,600 tonnes (9%) lower than the comparable prior period, mainly reflecting Koniambo running as a single-line operation for most of Q2/Q3, with Covid-related restrictions on mobility affecting timing of maintenance.”

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. (OTCPK:SMMYY)

On November 9, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. announced: “Consolidated financial results for the second quarter ended September 30, 2020 [IFRS].”

On November 19, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. announced: “FY2020 2nd quarter progress of business strategy.” Highlights include:

  • “Giving priority to employees’ safety, we continue operation and stable supply to the extent possible at each production site while implementing measures to prevent infection of COVID-19.
  • The Cerro Verde Copper Mine, which had a temporary reduction in operation rate due to the impact of the spread of COVID-19, has resumed normal operation. Additionally, there was a extension of the planned shut-down period for THPAL, but operation has been resumed.
  • The materials business saw a decrease in sales of products such as battery materials aimed mainly at the automobile industry, with sluggish demand due to the stagnation of economic activities due to the impact of COVID-19. This bottomed out in the summer and is recovering overall……”

On November 27, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. announced: “Publishing of Sumitomo Metal Mining Integrated Report 2020.”

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

On October 30 Anglo American announced: “Anglo American sustainability performance update.” Highlighrs include:

  • “Ongoing transition of our portfolio towards those metals and minerals which support a greener, cleaner, more sustainable world – thermal coal operations in South Africa planned for likely demerger.
  • Reducing our energy consumption and intensity through P101 performance improvements, and technologies and digitalisation – we met our 2020 target of a 22% reduction in emissions a year early.
  • Increased use of renewable energy – we will use 100% renewables in Chile from 2021 and Brazil from 2022, and we begin trials of our green hydrogen fuel-cell powered haul truck in South Africa in 2021.
  • Use of nature-based solutions on land we manage and using resources that we control where we can show carbon reduction alongside improving local biodiversity.”

Eramet (OTCPK:ERMAY)

On October 28, Eramet announced: “Eramet: Third-quarter 2020 turnover stable, the sales of the Mining and Metals division offset the impact of the profound aerospace crisis.” Highlights include:

  • “Sales of €850m (-5% on third-quarter 2019).
  • Significant decline in Aubert & Duval sales: 18% from 2019. 34% over two years.
  • Excellent production and sales performance from mining activities, driven by the rebound in Chinese steel production in a disrupted market environment: Increase in Q3 20 manganese ore volumes produced (+15%) and sold (+65%). Increase in nickel ore volumes produced (+20%) and exported (+6%), leading to a significant improvement in SLN cash cost to $5.24/lb in the third quarter. Swift ramp-up in nickel ferroalloys production at Weda Bay, with 13 kt Ni since its launch in Mayo. Increase in mineral sands production (+13%), at a pace of 730 kt per year.
  • Raw material sales prices sharply down overall: 26% for manganese ore and -17% for ferronickel; conversely, very strong growth in the price of nickel ore (+35%).
  • 2020 Outlook: Manganese ore production target raised to 5.8 Mt (+22% vs 2019). Opening of new mining plateau in Gabon in October, enabling gradual ramp-up in production towards a capacity of 7 Mt in manganese ore by 2022. Nickel ore exports confirmed at 2.5 Mwmt (+54% vs 2019).
  • Factoring in the operational improvements, in particular the increased mining production, forecast EBITDA is expected to strongly improve in the second half of 2020 compared to the first half. Nevertheless, it will be significantly lower on a full-year basis.”

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

On November 4, Sherritt International announced: “Sherritt reports financial results for q3 2020.” Highlights include:

  • “Eliminated a further $300 million in direct debt.
  • Eliminated debt maturities in 2021, 2023, and 2025, and replaced them with maturities in 2026 and 2029.
  • Reduced our cash interest expense by one-third to approximately $30 million per year.
  • Completed our exit from the Ambatovy project, eliminating the associated direct and indirect debt and the risk of being required to fund further cash calls with the associated risk of default.
  • Achieved all of this with no dilution to the current equity of Sherritt.”

On November 23, Sherritt International announced: “Sherritt’s CEO to step down from role in 2021.”

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

On October 28, IGO Limited announced: “Commencement of drill programme at Antipa – IGO Paterson farm-in project.”

On October 29, IGO Limited announced: “Quarterly report period ended 30 September 2020.” Highlights include:

  • “Nova production increased Quarter on Quarter for all metals. Cash costs were lower at A$2.25 per payable pound of nickel.
  • Tropicana gold production up 5% on the prior quarter at 107,060 ounces. Cash costs and All-in Sustaining Costs were A$947 and A$1,527 per ounce respectively.
  • Commercial production from the Boston Shaker Underground mine declared. Tropicana strategic review commenced.
  • Revenue and other income for the Group of A$227M and underlying EBITDA of A$121M, a margin of 54%.
  • Cash flow from Operations of A$110M, generating free cash flow of A$84M for the Quarter.
  • Payment of FY20 final dividend of A$0.05 per share, totalling A$30M, bringing full year dividends to A$65M, or A$0.11 per share.
  • Debt repayment of A$57M, with the Group now debt free. Total cash on hand was A$509M at Quarter end.
  • Exploration activity in the Fraser Range, Kimberley, Northern Territory and Paterson now back up to pre-COVID levels.
  • Recruitment process well advanced to appoint a new Chair and Non-Executive Director, with appointments expected to be made before the end of 2020.”

On November 23, IGO Limited announced: “IGO inclusion in the Dow Jones sustainability Index Australia.”

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

On October 28, Western Areas Ltd. announced:

  • “Odysseus twin declines commenced with first development cuts fired and underground rehabilitation and dewatering programs largely complete.
  • Maiden AM6 Probable Ore Reserve of 2.1Mt at 2.2% Ni for a total of 47,100 Ni tonnes, brings total reserves at Cosmos to 211,620 nickel tonnes, providing significant optionality to the Odysseus mine plan……
  • Mine production for the quarter was 4,147 nickel tonnes, impacted by re-sequencing of the Flying Fox mine schedule into lower grade zones and lower grade at Spotted Quoll.
  • Mill production of 3,756 nickel tonnes in concentrate with recoveries impacted by the lower average head grade.
  • Unit cash cost of nickel in concentrate increased to A$4.46/lb due to reduced grades and lower ore production tonnages that increase fixed costs per tonne of ore mined and milled……
  • Positive cashflow from operations of A$10.0m with cash at bank of A$120.3m and no debt.
  • Cash plus nickel sales receivables and liquid assets of $180.3m (Jun Q A$190.6m).”
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On October 30, Western Areas Ltd. announced: “FY21 Guidance update.”

Source

On November 25, Western Areas Ltd. announced: “Update on Mining Lease Application & Preparation for Production at Kat Gap.”

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 November 2, Panoramic Resources announced: “Excellent Savannah FAR #3 raise boring progress.”

On November 16, Panoramic Resources announced: “Savannah FAR#3 raise boring progress.”

Nickel Mines Ltd [ASX:NIC]

On October 29, Nickel Mines Ltd. announced: “Quarterly activities report.”

Source

On November 24, Nickel Mines Ltd. announced:

Agreement executed for the acquisition of 70% of the Angel Nickel Project.

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.

On November 2, Conic Metals Corp. announced:

Conic releases Ramu q3 2020 performance. “Conic is pleased to announce Ramu’s Q3 operating results have not been negatively impacted by the global pandemic and in fact Q3 represented one of our best production quarters” stated Justin Cochrane, President and CEO. “Nickel production was 8% higher in the quarter compared to Q3 2019 and year to date is 2% higher in comparison to the same period in 2019. Ramu is on track to meet guidance of 32,000-33,000 of nickel production in 2020……

Other nickel producers

First Quantum Minerals [TSX:FM] (OTCPK:FQVLF), Franco/Nevada [TSX:FNV], MMG [HK:1208], South32 [ASX:S32], Lundin Mining [TSX:LUN], Nickel Asia Corporation [PSE:NIKL] (OTC:NIKAY).

Nickel juniors

Amur Minerals Corp. [LSE:AMC] [GR:A7L] (OTCPK:AMMCF)

On October 27, Amur Minerals Corp. announced:

AMC holds 13.43% of NRR post USD10m equity investment. Amur Minerals Corporation (“Amur” or the “Company”), the nickel-copper sulphide mineral exploration and resource development company focused on the far east of Russia, is pleased to announce that certain existing shareholders of Nathan River Resources Pte Limited (“NRR”), have opted to provide further US$10 million in equity financing to NRR to provide additional working capital to advance the shipment of stockpiles and processing of mined blocks at the Roper Bar Iron Ore project in the Northern Territories, Australia, in order to take advantage of the current high iron ore prices.

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

On October 30, Poseidon Nickel announced: “Quarterly report 30 September 2020.” Highlights include:

  • “Golden Swan Exploration: Second Golden Swan massive sulphide intersection 50m up dip from discovery hole returns exceptional result of 9.0m (4.5m true width) @ 10.46% Ni on basal contact. Drill drive to provide platform for resource definition drilling of Golden Swan and further exploration of the Southern Terrace approved, expected to commence late November.
  • Corporate/Finance: US$17.5 million convertible note repaid to Black Mountain Metals on 31 August 2020, Company now debt free. Board strengthened with experienced nickel sulphide explorer Peter Muccilli appointed Non-Executive Director.”

On November 11, Poseidon Nickel announced: “Drill drive contract awarded.”

On November 19, Poseidon Nickel announced: “Golden Swan and Southern Terrace continues to grow.” Highlights include:

  • “Drill hole PBSD0029D has intersected a strongly mineralised interval of 6.4m (3.7m true width) of massive/matrix nickel sulphides.
  • This intersection continues a series of high quality nickel sulphide intersections returned at Golden Swan over a 170m dip extent.
  • The combination of thick, high grade intersections at Golden Swan in combination with the untested Downhole Electromagnetic conductors in the greater Southern Terrace position, underscores the opportunity for the Company to rapidly build high grade nickel resources once the drill drive is completed.”

On November 25, Poseidon Nickel announced: “Excellent results from preliminary metallurgical testwork.” Highlights include:

  • “Preliminary metallurgical testwork of Golden Swan drill core demonstrated excellent results via a conventional flotation process.
  • Testwork key findings: Nickel recovery > 90%. Nickel grade >13% in concentrate. Negligible arsenic in concentrate. Very attractive Fe:MgO ratio (>50:1) with a pre-float stage incorporated.”

On November 25, Poseidon Nickel announced: “Assays confirm more high-grade nickel at Golden Swan.” Highlights include:

  • “…..Result was 6.4m (3.7m true width) @ 9.60% Ni on Southern Terrace basal contact including 1.6m (0.9m true width) @ 14.89% Ni.
  • This intersection continues a series of high-grade nickel sulphide intersections returned at Golden Swan over a 170m dip extent.”

Note: This analyst’s report on Poseidon Nickel [ASX:POS] valuation is A$0.15. The stock is trading currently at A$0.07, so still ~2x upside.

Talon Metals [TSX:TLO] (OTCPK:TLOFF) Tamarack – (JV with Rio Tinto)

Tamarack is a high grade nickel-copper-cobalt project located in Minnnesota, USA, with considerable exploration upside. Talon Metals is earning in to own a 51% share by March 2022, with potential to further earn-in to a 60% share by 2026.

On November 2, Talon Metals announced: “Drilling at the Tamarack Project continues to point towards a new zone of shallow nickel mineralization outside of Talon Metals’ resource area.” Highlights include:

  • “Drill hole 20TK0271, which is approximately 350 meters outside of the Company’s resource area, has successfully intersected 2.59 meters (8.5 feet) of massive sulphide mineralization at a shallow depth starting at 242.84 meters, within a larger mineralized interval of 20.98 meters (68.8 feet) from 234.64 meters to 245.55 meters (assays pending) (see Figure 1)……”

On November 13, Talon Metals announced:

Talon Metals reports results for the quarter ended September 30, 2020. Talon Metals Corp. reported a net loss for the three months ended September 30, 2020 of $0.5 million or $nil per share (basic and diluted), which was primarily the result of administration expenses…..

On November 24, Talon Metals announced:”Talon Metals drills 8.39 meters (27.53 feet) of high-grade massive sulphides at the Tamarack Project to extend mineralization.”

  • “Drill hole 20TK0273 intersected 8.39 meters (27.53 feet) of high-grade massive sulphide mineralization starting at 414.73 meters as shown in Figures 1 and 2 (assays pending).
  • Drill hole 20TK0273 was targeting a geophysical [BHEM] anomaly that was refined during the recent resurveying of historic drill hole 15TK0219.
  • Results indicate an extension of mineralization to the north of historic intercepts of thick mineralization.”

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

On November 16, Garibaldi Resources announced:

Garibaldi to drill high-grade Casper Quartz Gold Vein. Garibaldi Resources is pleased to provide an update on plans to extend its drilling program up at the Eskay Camp. As winter arrives at the E&L nickel-copper-cobalt massive sulphide project on Nickel Mountain, drilling will now pivot to the low elevation (430m) Casper quartz gold vein discovered last fall. Garibaldi owns a 100% interest in over 180 sq. kms of highly prospective claims, in the heart of the Eskay Gold Camp. The E&L and Casper are significant major discoveries made by the Company within their claim group in NW British Columbia.

On November 24, Garibaldi Resources announced:

Garibaldi updates financing. Garibaldi Resources is pleased to announce that further to the Company’s November16, 2020 news release reporting the arrangement of a non-brokered private placement of up to 5 million flow-through units at 60 cents to raise up to $3,000,000 [CDN], the Company has closed the first tranche of $2,033,200 CDN by the issuance of 3,388,666 units at 60 cents per unit.

OZ Minerals [ASX:OZL] (OTCPK:OZMLF)

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On November 16, Oz Minerals announced: “Carrapateena 2020 mineral resources and ore reserves statement and explanatory notes.” Nickel not relevant.

On November 16, OZ Minerals announced: “OZ Minerals to invest $47 million to progress Prominent Hill shaft expansion study.” Highlights include:;

  • “Prominent Hill Expansion Study Update confirms feasibility of a vertical hoisting shaft to replace truck haulage.
  • Study Update based on conservative Interim Case; economic case expected to be strengthened as Study progresses through Resource conversion.
  • $47 million committed to progress Study and continue infill drilling ahead of a final investment decision expected mid-2021.”

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 October 30, St George Mining Ltd. announced: “Quarterly activities report for the period ended 30 September 2020.” Highlights include:

Mt Alexander Project:

  • “Thick mineralised mafic-ultramafic units – which are the host rocks for nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation – have been intersected below the shallow high-grade nickel-copper sulphide deposits at the Cathedrals Belt.
  • Downhole electromagnetic [DHEM] surveys in the latest drill holes identified new EM anomalies for follow-up testing.
  • Two outstanding conductors identified by the DHEM survey in MAD184 – modelled with conductivity of 49,000 and 16,200 Siemens respectively and an electrical signature consistent with a massive sulphide source.
  • Diamond drilling of new EM conductors is underway.
  • Excellent results from preliminary metallurgical test work on mineralisation from the Investigators Prospect with separate high-grade nickel and copper concentrates produced including high values for platinum group metals and cobalt.”

On November 16, St George Mining Ltd. announced: “Drilling of strong EM conductors at Mt Alexander delivers further positive results…..Drilling continues 24/7…..”

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

No news for the month.

North American Nickel [TSXV:NAN]

No news for the month.

Canada Nickel Company [TSXV:CNC](OTCQB:CNIKF)

No news for the month.

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

Giga Metals [TSXV:GIGA] (OTCQB:HNCKF)

On October 28, Giga Metals announced:

Giga Metals Corporation announces results of a comprehensive Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the production of high-grade nickel concentrate from the Turnagain nickel deposit. The PEA indicates a long-life, large-scale project. With a projected build capital of US$1.4B (Phase 1) and US$0.5B (Phase 2) including significant investment for a powerline delivering low-cost, clean, low-carbon power from BC Hydro (mainly hydroelectric), the projected capital intensity is US$51,500 per annual tonne nickel at full rates (years 6 to 20)……At metals prices of U.S. $7.50 per pound of nickel and smelter terms of 78% NSR as provided by Wood Mackenzie, Turnagain is expected to have a pre-tax IRR of 6.3%.

On November 3, Giga Metals announced:

Giga announces internal analysis of Turnagain project vs HPAL projects. Our Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), announced October 28, 2020, modelled a mine that would produce an average of 33,000 tonnes per year of nickel over a mine life of 37 years with marginal economics at current nickel prices,” said Mr. Vydra. “The nickel would be contained in an exceptionally clean sulphide concentrate grading 18% nickel and 1% cobalt, suitable for smelting and refining into Class I nickel, as modelled in the PEA. We are also planning to conduct further testwork to confirm the amenability of Turnagain concentrate to direct refining via hydrometallurgy into recovered nickel suitable for the battery industry whether it be powder, briquettes or sulphate……”

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], Grid Metals Corp [TSXV:GRDM, Inomin Mines [TSXV:MINE], Jervois Mining [ASX:JRV][TSXV:JRV] (OTCQB:JRVMF), 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], Transition Metals [TSXV:XTM], URU Metals Ltd. [LSE:URU] [GR:NVRA], and Wall Bridge Mining [TSX:WM].

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

Conclusion

Nickel spot prices were slightly higher and LME nickel inventory was slightly higher in November.

Highlights for the month were:

  • Wood Mackenzie – Electrification is front and centre in the energy transition. Nickel demand to increase by 2/3rds by 2040.
  • New US trade group Zero Emission Transportation Association [ZETA] calling for policies such as consumer incentives and emissions targets that will accelerate the shift to EVs. Group wants emissions caps, total EV adoption by 2030.
  • How do cobalt and nickel stack up in race to dominate electric vehicle battery market? Most analysts see battery nickel prices going up.
  • Vale reports strong Q3 results boosted by stronger iron ore and nickel prices as China recovers.
  • Anglo American ongoing transition of our portfolio towards those metals and minerals which support a greener, cleaner, more sustainable world.
  • Sherritt International Q3, 2020 eliminated a further $300 million in direct debt and completed exit from the Ambatovy project.
  • IGO Limited has a strong Q3 2020 cash flow quarter and is now debt free with A$509M cash on hand.
  • Western Areas – Maiden AM6 Probable Ore Reserve of 2.1Mt at 2.2% Ni for a total of 47,100 Ni tonnes, brings total reserves at Cosmos to 211,620 nickel tonnes, providing significant optionality to the Odysseus mine plan.
  • Poseidon Nickel hits exceptional result of 9.0m (4.5m true width) @ 10.46% Ni on basal contact at Golden Swan.
  • Giga Metals PEA results in marginal economics at current nickel prices.

As usual all comments are welcome.

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Disclosure: I am/we are long BHP Group [ASX:BHP], Vale SA (VALE), NORILSK NICKEL [LSE:MNOD], GLENCORE [LSX:GLEN], ARDEA RESOURCES [ASX:ARL], AUSTRALIAN MINES [ASX:AUZ], POSEIDON NICKEL [ASX:POS], Amur Minerals [LN:AMC], Jervois Mining [TSXV:JRV]. 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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