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Nickel, Discussion
blacksheep
post Posted: Aug 12 2019, 08:25 PM
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extract - Cobalt to share EV battery duties with nickel

QUOTE
Not all nickel is created equal

There are two types of nickel, Class 1 and Class 2. Class 2 nickel is primarily used to make stainless steel, which accounts for two-thirds of global nickel demand. Lower-cost, lower-grade laterite ores feed the stainless steelindustry.

Sulfide deposits provide ore for Class 1 nickel users which includes battery manufacturers. These battery-cos purchase the nickel product known as nickel sulfate, derived from high-grade nickel sulfide deposits. It’s important to note that less then half of the world’s nickel is suitable for the biggest growth market - EV batteries - detailed further in the next section.

Previously in China, the nickel ore supply was insufficient to support demand from its stainless steel industry, so the Chinese began direct shipping nickel laterite ore from the Philippines, Indonesia and New Caledonia into the country to produce a low-nickel, high-iron product called nickel pig iron or “NPI”. NPI is used as a feedstock for stainless steel mills in China.

NPI is created by mixing saprolite ores with coking coal and a mixture of fluxes. The materials are put into an electric arc or blast furnace, which liberates the desired products from the slag, allowing the molten mixture to be cast into molds which form nickel pig iron.

However, NPI is unsuitable for use in battery cathodes, and the process to convert NPI to battery-grade nickel is costly. To make nickel sulfate requires a nickel content of 99%, NPI only has 8-12% nickel.

Switching from lower-grade nickel ore to higher grade, Class 1 nickel requires a mining company to make a large investment in refining and processing facilities.

Among the few to do so is BHP, which in 2017 revealed a US$43 million plan to upgrade its Kiwana refinery - part of its Nickel West operations - to produce 100,000 tonnes per annum of nickel sulfate. A second stage would double that to 200,000 tpa. Production at the new, upgraded plant started in June.

Chinese metals giant Tsingshan Holding Group announced last October it is building an Indonesian plant to produce nickel-cobalt salts from laterites. Using previously uneconomic technology Tsingshan says it will transform class 2 laterite deposits into class 1 metal for the battery market. Tsingshan is known for causing a major disruption to the nickel market in the mid-2000s, when it and other Chinese companies massively adopted nickel pig iron, crushing the nickel price. The firm went on to build low-cost NPI plants in Indonesia.

The $700 million project it is proposing in Indonesia would cost under a quarter the cost of recent HPAL projects, according to consultancy CRU Group, via Bloomberg.


https://www.aheadoftheherd.com/Newsletter/2...with-nickel.htm



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Aug 12 2019, 07:48 PM
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Nickel: Prices spike amid Indonesian supply speculation
QUOTE
Roskill View
In a recent article, Roskill documented the rise in nickel prices through July, reaching above US$14,000/t. Price volatility is nothing new for the nickel market, however, the speed of the current price rise caught many in the industry by surprise.

The main cause of the dramatic price rise can be attributed to further speculation and chatter surrounding a future Indonesian export ban. As reported previously, the possibility of a resumption in 2022 has been on the cards since 2017, since the relaxation of the export ban announced then was only effective until January 2022. Indonesian nickel supply—in the form of ore and NPI—is, and will remain, critical for maintaining an overall nickel market balance.

Indonesia’s tough stance on raw material exports has paid dividends in relation to investment in added value nickel production through NPI, but China’s tightening environmental regulations, the uncertainty of another export ban, and a focus on nickel sulphate, could catalyse a new wave of projects in the country—several of which are in feasibility mode. China’s Chengtun Mining this week announced plans to invest US$145M in an Indonesian nickel smelter in the Weda Bay Industrial Park, Halmahera province. Chengtun Mining will assume a 35.75% stake in the project company Youshan Nickel. Youshan Nickel will construct the nickel matte smelter with capacity of 43.6kty (34kty Ni), following similar investment by Tsingshan.

Even at the current price, projects outside of Indonesia are still short of an incentive level for economic viability which Roskill puts at over US$20,000/t but, in reality, needs to be higher. If the price continues to creep up, however, shuttered or lower-cost capacity may be incentivised to re-open, even though Roskill considers that additional nickel units aren’t necessary in the immediate future to balance demand growth, given that on and off-market stock levels and output are sufficient to meet short-term Class I (including nickel sulphate) requirements. A nickel price spike now may not reflect the reality of the market balance, but if it continues and is sustained, may be a blessing given the timeframe to production of new supply to meet higher demand—led by EVs—in the future.

https://roskill.com/news/nickel-prices-spik...ly-speculation/



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Aug 6 2019, 09:49 AM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Jul 19 2019, 08:01 PM

There’s one metal worrying Tesla and EV battery suppliers
Bloomberg News | August 5, 2019 |
QUOTE
Battery producers and electric automakers, including Tesla Inc., are concerned over longer-term supplies of nickel, a key material in their supply chain that’s forecast to fall into deficit, according to an Australian miner that’s held recent talks with the sector.

The need for the high-purity material used in batteries, known as class-one nickel, is likely to outstrip supply within five years, fueled mainly by rising consumption in the EV industry, according to BloombergNEF.

It’s a concern shared by Tesla, according to Peter Bradford, chief executive officer of nickel producer Independence Group NL, who last week met with a member of the car producer’s battery metals supply chain team.


QUOTE
“The dramatic price rise we’ve seen will pale into insignificance compared to the future,’’ Bradford said in the Friday phone interview.

Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., said in June the nickel market faces a deficit of 51,000 tons in 2019, raising an earlier forecast. Last month, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. confirmed it’ll reopen the Ravensthorpe mine in Western Australia –- shuttered since 2017 — in the first quarter of 2020 amid the strength of interest from potential nickel and cobalt customers.

Western Areas Ltd. recently visited China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., a leading battery maker, and is winning interest from the EV sector for nickel supply contracts, the Perth-based producer said Monday in a presentation. Contracts with BHP Group and Tsingshan Holding Group Co. are scheduled to expire in January.

Meetings with companies in the EV supply chain in China and South Korea in the past month, including battery suppliers and producers of key raw materials and chemicals, had also underscored the industry’s concerns about supply, Bradford said.

“The big question everyone will be asking in a year’s time is where does the nickel come from to satisfy the demands for nickel in stainless steel, as well as the increasing demand for nickel into electric vehicle batteries?’’ he said.


read more - https://www.mining.com/web/theres-one-metal...tery-suppliers/



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Jul 19 2019, 08:01 PM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Jul 19 2019, 11:43 AM

extract - Nickel Takes The Limelight, But Will It Last?

QUOTE
Nickel prices have surged recently but, as some brokers assess, fundamentals do not appear to be supporting the rally. Hence, a retracement is considered highly likely.

-Price exceeds economic rationale of even a moderate 2019 deficit
-Trade signals are mixed for nickel, inventory not yet low enough to spark anxiety
-Likely to be caused by a speculative shift in buying nickel


QUOTE
As nickel is increasingly directed to growth segments, the broker likes those producers that have long life, low-cost sulphide projects and can drive value from exploiting downstream refining strategies.

This includes Independence Group ((IGO)), with its added exposure to gold, which remains the top pick over Western Areas ((WSA)). Canaccord Genuity notes CleanTeq ((CLQ)), a Class 1 developer, is likely to sell down up to 50% of its Sunrise project, aligning with a final investment decision by the December quarter of 2019.

Macquarie believes Western Areas has the most significant leverage to a rally in base metals. Nickel is currently trading 13% above the brokers first quarter FY20 estimates. Under a spot price scenario there is 38% and 59% upside, respectively, to the broker's operating earnings forecasts versus its base case for Western Areas and Panoramic Resources ((PAN)).

read more - https://www.fnarena.com/index.php/2019/07/1...t-will-it-last/



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Jul 19 2019, 11:43 AM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Jul 11 2019, 03:10 PM

Nickel price catches battery, export ban fever. Again
Frik Els | July 18, 2019
QUOTE
Nickel is adding shine to the otherwise lacklustre 2019 industrial metals complex, as expectations of booming demand from electric vehicles and renewed supply worries rev prices to a one-year high.

Nickel is now up 37% since the start of the year, reaching $14,665 per tonne on Thursday in London and jumping 4% in Shanghai to the equivalent of $16,690.

Open interest in Chinese nickel futures is up by half in a fortnight and trading volumes have surged – indicating that the price spike is likely the result of speculation more than fundamentals.

Miners of the devil’s copper are used to wild swings in price. From the lows mid-2017 below $9,000 a tonne to around this time last year, the metal gained 79%, only to slump by nearly a third to its opening levels of 2019. And who can forget that in March 2007, nickel peaked at $51,780 per tonne.

The right chemistry
The electric vehicle (EV) narrative is an exciting one for the metal, but it is still early days. Very early days. Last year, only around 6% of nickel ended up in EV batteries. 70% of supply goes into making stainless steel.

That said the outlook is certainly rosy. Battery metals tracker Adamas Intelligence says electric vehicle manufacturers deployed 57% more nickel in passenger EV batteries in May this year, compared to 2018.

The deployment of nickel also outpaced the growth of the EV market overall. In May this year, total passenger EV battery capacity deployed globally was 48% higher year-on-year, according to Adamas data.

Nickel’s inroads is mainly due to shifting chemistries of nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) battery cathodes. First generation NCM111 batteries had a chemical composition of 1 part nickel, 1 part cobalt and 1 part manganese, but the industry is shifting towards an 811 mix. Roughly speaking NCM 811 batteries for light passenger EVs require more than 50 kilograms of nickel.

Andrew Cosgrove, senior mining and metals analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence at a recent conference predicted that nickel demand in batteries could outpace that of stainless steel in absolute terms, adding as much as 900,000 additional tonnes per year by 2030. That compares to current annual nickel production of less than 2.5m tonnes.

Jakarta jolts supply
China’s nickel pig iron production fed from Indonesian and Philippine mines dominate the global industry, and despite the economic slowdown in China, which imports some 50% of the world’s nickel, stainless steel production is growing rapidly.

Nickel also jumped this week due the mooted reinstatement of a ban on ore exports from Indonesia from 2022 onwards.

When Jakarta enforced the ban to encourage the building of domestic smelters from 2014 to 2016 the price gained initially, but Chinese NPI producers were able to switch to Philippine miners in a relatively short time, so it’s unclear the impact of export restrictions would be this time around.

NPI contains only 8–12% nickel and less than half of the total nickel output is so-called Class 1 product, which is suitable for conversion into nickel sulphate used in battery manufacture.

Class 1 nickel powder for sulphate production enjoys a large premium over LME prices, but for miners to switch to battery grade material requires huge investments to upgrade refining and processing facilities.

But confidence in future demand is such that BHP decided last year to hold onto Nickel West after many attempts to offload it, and is now spending hundreds of millions of dollars switching its Australian operations to battery-grade production.

https://www.mining.com/nickel-price-catches...an-fever-again/



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington

Said 'Thanks' for this post: early birds  
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Jul 11 2019, 03:10 PM
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Surge in battery nickel use is more bad news for cobalt price
Frik Els | July 10, 2019

QUOTE
Battery metals tracker Adamas Intelligence says electric vehicle manufacturers deployed 57% more nickel in passenger EV batteries in May this year compared to 2018.

The Toronto-based research company, which tracks EV registrations and battery chemistries in more than 80 countries says the nickel metal equivalent used in lithium-ion batteries (primarily in the form of nickel sulphate) increased by 69% whereas the amount used in nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries (primarily in the form of nickel hydroxide and AB5 nickel-REE alloy) increased 26%.

THE DEPLOYMENT OF NICKEL IS OUTPACING THE GROWTH OF THE OVERALL EV BATTERY MARKET

The deployment of nickel also outpaced the growth of the EV market overall. In May this year, total passenger EV battery capacity deployed globally was 48% higher year-on-year according to Adamas data.

Nickel’s inroads is due to shifting chemistries of nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) battery cathodes.


QUOTE
Nickel touched $13,000 a tonne for the first time since April on Wednesday. The price is up just over 19% in 2019 as the EV boom creates additional demand and primary use of the metal today – stainless steel production – continues to grow.

Cobalt is now worth $28,000 a tonne after peaking at $95,000 little more than a year ago as miners in the Congo – responsible for two-thirds of output – ramp up production.

https://www.mining.com/surge-in-battery-nic...r-cobalt-price/



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington

Said 'Thanks' for this post: nipper  early birds  
 


mullokintyre
post Posted: Jan 3 2019, 05:02 AM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Jan 2 2019, 09:51 PM

QUOTE
According to LME data on December 31, there remains one dominant warrant holding position currently holding 50-79% of total zinc stocks. LME zinc stocks are at their lowest since 2008.

On the face of it, its almost impossible to imagine that this is not a prima facie case of market manipulation.
Despite the lowest level of physical since 2008,futures are trending lower because of trading derivatives.
We have seen it for years in the silver market, where there COT report shows ten years of physical silver production being transferred in derivatives in a single day.
Mick




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sent from my Olivetti Typewriter.
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Jan 2 2019, 09:51 PM
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LIVE FUTURES REPORT 02/01: LME base metals downbeat despite equity market bounce; zinc price falls below $2,400/t
QUOTE
Worst affected over the morning was the three-month zinc price, which fell just over 3% to trade below $2,400 per tonne and at its lowest level since September 2018. According to LME data on December 31, there remains one dominant warrant holding position currently holding 50-79% of total zinc stocks. LME zinc stocks are at their lowest since 2008. Similarly, nickel futures continue to trade in a persistent downtrend, dropping to an intraday low of $10,545 per tonne, the metal’s lowest price since December 2017.

https://www.metalbulletin.com/Article/38518...alls-below.html



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Nov 22 2018, 09:15 PM
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Doubts cast on plans for deluge of new nickel supply
Reuters
QUOTE
* Market spooked by estimated cost of HPAL plant

* Building HPAL facility more complicated than NPI smelter

LONDON – Expectations of a supply avalanche hitting the nickel market next year due to new capacity in Indonesia have sent prices to seven-month lows, but analysts doubt the plans spearheaded by Chinese firms can be carried out so quickly.

Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange nearing $11,000 a tonne is down more than 15 percent since late September, partly due to the U.S.-China trade dispute undermining demand for the metal used in stainless steel.
Attached Image


Nickel is also vital for the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles, where demand is set to accelerate exponentially over coming years. This is why companies in China, which dominates electric vehicle battery production, need to secure nickel supplies.

That includes GEM, which recently announced it was teaming up with Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and Tsingshan Holding Group to invest $700 million in an Indonesian project to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals.

Also involved is Japanese trading house Hanwa, which in a release said production would start in 2019.

The consortium aims to establish a 50,000-tonne high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) facility at Tsingshan's industrial park in Morowali, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, to produce nickel and cobalt chemicals.

"There is panic about supply, but the Tsingshan project isn't going to hit the market next year. It will take two to three years," said Jim Lennon, managing director of Red Door Research.

GEM, CATL and Tsingshan did not respond to requests for comment.

A source at one of the Chinese partners said construction may start at the end of 2019 after a site had been selected and the equipment ordered and delivered, but that the date may be pushed back to 2020.

"What also spooked everybody was that they said it was going to cost $700 million," Lennon said.

"Pretty much every HPAL project has taken longer and cost more than was originally announced."

One example analysts cite is Ambatovy in Madagascar. On its website, Ambatovy says the project cost $8 billion and will have capacity to produce 60,000 tonnes of nickel.




--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Oct 20 2018, 10:53 AM
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Flow of LME nickel to hidden storage dents bull story
Reuters | about 8 hours ago |

QUOTE
LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) – The bulk of nickel moving out of London Metal Exchange-approved warehouses in Asia is showing up in hidden facilities in Europe, analysts said, denting a bullish scenario of potential shortages.

LME nickel stocks have shrunk by about 40 percent this year, largely from warehouses in Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore, but much of that metal is not being consumed, industry sources and analysts said.

Nickel is mainly used to make stainless steel, but forecasts show that more will be needed for electric vehicle batteries in coming years.

It has been the LME's top performer this year and prices were up 25 percent in June, before the wider market was hit by macroeconomic worries.

Some investors have been bullish about the sharply lower inventories, arguing that deficits and strong consumption were finally cutting stockpiles and raising prospects for shortages.Trade data shows that much of the nickel departing Asia is arriving in the Netherlands, a warehousing centre with both LME depots and non-registered ones with cheaper rental rates.

"Some people are taking a bullish tone from the draw in stocks, but you shouldn't be 100 percent bullish about the stocks draw if you look at where the stock is travelling," said Macquarie analyst Vivienne Lloyd.

"Europe is not such a big nickel consumer that it would suddenly need such a large stock draw from the LME Asian warehouses. So, it seems more likely to point to stocking behaviour in Europe."

During the first seven months of the year 39,358 tonnes of unwrought nickel was exported from Malaysia to the Netherlands, compared with 1,167 tonnes in the same period last year, according to data from the International Nickel Study Group.


read more - http://www.mining.com/web/flow-lme-nickel-...nts-bull-story/



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
 


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