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theflasherman

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IN REPLY TO A POST BY sandybeachs, Sat 31/01/04 12:24pm   [READ POST]

hi guys/gals

just had a quick check on nickel prices...

up U$780 dollars.....U$15,450 = A$20,227............

could have a storng effect on monday....

regards
http://www.asxboard.com/html/emoticons/king.gif

Still off the high from earlier this month which was about A$23000, but good to see it's rise. All hopefully goes well for those nickel stocks especially ones producing at present.

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Looks as though the strike is going ahead.

A shutdown of Falconbridge Ltd.'s (Toronto:FL.TO - News) massive nickel site in Sudbury, Ontario, this weekend looked increasingly likely on Friday, after unionized workers rejected a wage and benefits offer from the world's third-biggest nickel producer.

Should know by Sunday morning for sure. http://www.asxboard.com/html/emoticons/smile.gif

 

Regards

brookvill

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for those that want Falconbridge's view on the strike situation at Sudbury see:

 

http://www.falconbridge.com/

 

listen to the conference call which should be archived. It is about 20 mins long. i've listened to it live and believe the following summary is what was said:

 

The main thrust is that they company are saying they are whiter than white and they made a fair offer to the union. They said they are keen to continue talking.

 

The rhetoric from the union is that they are still far apart and the contracting out issue is a very severe one which they were taken advantage of in the last bargaining round.

 

Falconbridge reckon they can run at 50% (overall will produce 2,000 tonnes per month) capacity with non-union labour. But smelter/mill has enough ore for 6 weeks, so production won't actually decrease till mid-March. Could bring feed from outside Sudbury region for mill.

 

Company would like to resolve dispute quickly, but there are a number of hurdles to get through.

 

Nickel Rim South company view on using non-union labour: current agreement will capture Nickel Rim, but specialised activities will need outside contractors to develop. Once developed will be under collective agreement.

 

Force majeure will take some time to declare on nickel products contracts (Force Majeure definition).

 

Copper and Cobalt production will be decreased as well.

 

I think in summary the union and the company are wide apart and not really willing to give up much due to fundamental differences, particularly in relation to contracting out.

 

US Manufacturing data failed to impress the base metals market today and saw a sell off across the board. Nickel closed at US$15,300 a tonne. USD/AUD = 0.7576 currently. A$ price is therefore = A$20,195 a tonne.

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Apparently an analyst (not sure who) reckoned that the Sudbury strike action won't last long.

 

However, I think this article shows how far apart the 2 sides are in Sudbury dispute (thanks to www.metalprices.com):

 

 

DJ. Strike Continues At Falconbridge Sudbury Nickel Ops

 

TORONTO (AP)--The war of words is heating up in the strike at a northern

Ontario nickel operation.

 

More than one-thousand workers at Falconbridge's Sudbury operations are

starting their third day of job action.

 

Union leaders with the CAW's Mine Mill local are angered over comments from

Falconbridge CEO Aaron Regent.

 

Regent said Monday that the company hasn't rolled over to union demands this

time, like they have in the past.

 

That's a reference to negotiations three years ago that involved a lengthy

strike.

 

But union spokesman Rick Grylls disagrees.

 

He says three years ago the company had workers quote "down on the ground,

with their hands around our necks."

 

Grylls says it's the companies demands that need to come off the table.

 

A key issue in the contract dispute is contracting out to non-union workers,

however wages are also a stumbling block.

 

 

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

 

 

 

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Check out the last sentence of this report about global deficits in nickel:

 

Reuters

RPT-UPDATE - Inco returns to profit, but 2004 outlook nags

Tuesday February 3, 7:05 pm ET

 

 

(Repeats to change headline tag to UPDATE 3)

(Adds details from conference call, closing share price. In U.S. dollars unless noted)

 

By Nicole Mordant

 

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Muscular nickel prices helped Inco Ltd. (Toronto:N.TO - News) return to a fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, but analysts turned their gaze to company forecasts for 2004 and worried a bit about the outlook for higher costs and lower-than-expected output.

 

At a time when nickel prices are at 14-year highs on prospects of a deep metal shortage, the world's No. 2 nickel miner said it expects to produce between 227,000 and 231,000 tonnes (500 million to 510 million pounds) this year.

 

It also forecast output of 118,000 tonnes of copper and 400,000 ounces of platinum group metals in 2004.

 

"Both nickel and copper production expectations look a little lighter than we were expecting," said David Gagliano, an analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston.

 

For 2004, Inco aims to achieve a one-fifth increase on 2003's nickel output by dropping a planned summer maintenance shutdown at its huge Sudbury, Ontario, operation, processing more external feed and improving the smelter's throughput.

 

"For 2004, we intend to make the most of a strong nickel market, with plans to produce every pound of nickel we can to meet our customers' needs," said Scott Hand, Inco chairman and chief executive.

 

NICKEL PRICES UP BUT CANADIAN DLR HIKES COSTS

 

Prices for nickel, last at $6.85 a pound, are 110 percent up in the past year due a shortage of production start-ups at a time of strong demand from China for stainless steel, of which the silvery white metal is a key ingredient.

 

Inco forecast its nickel cash costs, after credits for byproduct output, would rise to between $2.35 and $2.40 a pound this year. This compares to costs of $2.15 a pound in 2003.

 

"The outlook suggests that the cost structure is slightly higher than expected," said Larry Smith of TD Newcrest, adding this could be a reason for the pressure on Inco's stock.

 

Inco shares closed C$1.40, or nearly 3 percent, weaker at C$47.80 on the Toronto Stock Exchange (News - Websites) on Tuesday.

 

The rise in cash costs comes largely at the hands of a stronger Canadian dollar against the U.S. currency. Because many of its operations are in Canada, most of Inco's costs are priced in Canadian dollars but its results are reported in U.S. dollars.

 

The weaker greenback also meant that Inco's capital cost estimate for the first phase of developing Voisey's Bay, its big nickel deposit in Eastern Canada, has risen to $888 million from $776 million. In Canadian dollar terms, the estimate, at C$1.2 billion, has not changed.

 

OPERATIONS RETURN TO NORMAL

 

In the three months to Dec. 31, Inco earned $74 million, or 36 cents a share, on a diluted basis, as operations resumed at its Sudbury unit after a strike shut it down for most of the third quarter.

 

Earnings beat a Reuters Research estimate of 30 cents a share, and showed a turnaround from a loss of $2 million, or 5 cents a share, incurred in the year-before quarter when Inco suffered a cost blowout from the Goro nickel project it is planning to develop in New Caledonia.

 

Inco will report in May on attempts to cut capital and operating costs for development of Goro, its other huge nickel deposit, which is due for launch in 2006. It said it will announce in August whether it will go ahead with the project.

 

Inco forecast a global nickel shortfall of 19,000 tonnes this year but said the actual underlying demand for the metal was not reflected in this figure. The deficit would be 75,000 tonnes if consumers were not turning to substitutes, it said.

 

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More info on Inco forecasts for the next couple of years:

 

DJ. Inco Sees World Nickel Market Deficit Lasting Until 2006

 

VANCOUVER (Dow Jones)--Inco Ltd. (N) projects that underlying world nickel

demand growth will be more than 7% in 2004, while supply growth will be limited

to 1%, resulting in a certain deficit, even if surprises emerge on the supply

side.

 

On a conference call Tuesday, Peter Goudie, Inco's executive vice president

of marketing, said that the doubling of nickel prices in 2003, to 14-year

highs, "was just the preview."

 

Prices will have to rise to keep demand growth in line with available supply,

he said.

 

Toronto-based Inco doesn't see any meaningful new sources of supply until

2006, when its Voisey's Bay and Goro projects, in eastern Canada and New

Caledonia respectively, are due to start production.

 

The company projects that the world's "underlying deficit" in 2004 will be

75,000 metric tons, but it said the deficit will be limited to 19,000 tons by

available supply.

 

Goudie noted that nickel inventories held by the London Metal Exchange are

low, as are producers' and consumers' inventories. Therefore, inventory

drawdowns won't be source of supply in the current nickel cycle, he said.

 

Substitution of other materials for nickel will happen, Goudie predicted. "It

has to."

 

Scott Hand, chief executive and chairman, said Inco's goal in 2004 is to

maximize nickel production, which will improve the company's bottom line, even

if it has to purchase high-priced nickel for resale to customers.

 

It plans to produce 500-to-510 million pounds of nickel, up 7.5% from its

2003 plan of 470 million pounds before production was disrupted by a summer

strike. The company actually produced 413 million pounds i 2003.

 

Inco also plans 2004 copper production of 260 million pounds, up from 201

million pounds in 2003, and 400,000 ounces of platinum-group metals.

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IN REPLY TO A POST BY sandybeachs, Sat 07/02/04 11:30am   [READ POST]

hi all..

nickel....price

just a quick check on the price..

U$15,095 + $80

A$19,626

regards

Hi all,

 

Has Falconbridge discovered how to produce Nickel smoke free?

 

http://biz.yahoo.com/rm/040205/minerals_fa...e_strike_2.html

 

"Falconbridge spokesman Dale Coffin said the Sudbury smelter was running at 50 percent capacity, in line with the firm's estimates earlier this week. But Datillo questioned if it was operating, saying no smoke was coming out of the stack."

 

In other news;

 

http://www.minemill598.com/

 

Press Release:

 

10:15 a.m. - February 08, 2004

 

"The mediator has adjourned the discussions and requested the parties reflect on their respective positions, and will be contacting them with possible meeting dates next week."

 

Hmmm,

It's about time Nickel prices jump again, what do you guys reckon?

 

Regards ,

Tom.

 

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