Weekly Nickel News

Top Stories : December 12 to 18
Russian metals producer Nornickel (GMKN.MM) said on Friday that it would pass the peak of its investment cycle next year, when its capital expenditure is expected to rise by 10% to $4.7 billion.

Lifezone Metals, which plans to mine nickel in Tanzania with a low carbon footprint, will list in New York in a deal with blank-check acquisition firm GoGreen Investments , the companies said on Tuesday.

Exports/ Imports
Indonesia is still studying whether to impose a tax on nickel exports and isn’t looking to impose the levy immediately as it could hurt investors, said Coordinating Minister for Investment and Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan.

Widgie Nickel Limited (ASX: WIN, “Widgie” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce assay results from its Reverse Circulation (RC) and diamond (DD) infill and extensional drilling program targeting the Gillett mineralisation.

Horizonte Minerals Plc (AIM/TSX: HZM) (“Horizonte” or the “Company”) reports that it is continuing to make good progress on the construction of its 100%-owned Araguaia Nickel Project (“Araguaia” or “the Project”) in Brazil which remains on-budget and on-schedule to commence production in Q1-2024.

FPX Nickel Corp. is pleased to announce the first step-out drillhole results confirming continued near-surface lateral extension of strong nickel mineralization at the Van Target (” Van “) in the Company’s Decar Nickel District (” Decar ” or the ” District “) in central British Columbia.

Quebec Nickel Corp has announced additional assay results from drilling completed at its Ducros nickel-copper-cobalt-platinum group elements-gold project in Quebec, which included 1.1% nickel, 1.2% copper, 364 parts per million (ppm) cobalt, and 2.7 grams per tonne (g/t) platinum-palladium-gold over 4.8 metres (m).

Rock chip sampling at Infinity Mining’s Brisbane nickel prospect in the Pilbara region of Western Australia has returned anomalous nickel and chromium results within the company’s greater Panorama project.

Estrella Resources has kicked off extraction of a bulk high-grade nickel sulphide sample from the company’s 5A nickel mine near Kambalda that will be processed at Glencore’s Murrin Murrin facility.

Nickel Creek Platinum Corp is pleased to announce further results from work being conducted on behalf of the Company by Dr. Gregory Dipple at CarbMinLab, University of British Columbia. This ongoing work indicates significant uptake of CO2 from a composite sample in bench-top testing. The results indicate a carbon sequestration capability of approximately 34.4 kt CO2 per year (2.1 kt CO2 per Mt tailings).

Renforth Resources Inc revealed it has begun planning a drill program for the first quarter next year targeting a never-before explored western anomaly at its Victoria nickel target at its Surimeau district property in Quebec, where the latest drilling is now complete.

NickelSearch will drill down immediately on conductive targets which could host nickel mineralisation at its Javelin prospect near Ravensthorpe. The 1500m RC drilling program will start imminently to test a “highly conductive DHEM plate” as well as other high priority greenfield targets including Sexton and RAV8 South.

Poseidon Nickel Ltd (ASX:POS, OTC:PSDNF) has started reverse circulation (RC) resource delineation drilling from the floor of the dewatered Black Swan open pit. This drilling follows positive outcomes of the Black Swan Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) for the 1.1 million tonnes per annum mill feed option.

Poseidon Nickel Ltd (ASX:POS, OTC:PSDNF) is powering ahead towards the restart of the Black Swan Project in Western Australia, following positive outcomes from a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for a standalone 1.1 million tonnes per annum million feed option to produce smelter grade concentrate.

About 3,000 miles south of Beijing, Chinese mining companies have set up operations in the heart of the world’s largest known nickel reserves. On the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi and Halmahera, they’ve built refineries, smelters, a new metallurgy school even a nickel museum.

Nickel played second fiddle to lithium in the battery metal orchestra this year but it’s shaping as the star performer next year. The switchover will come from a combination of lithium peaking after a stellar run, while nickel gets a double-barrelled boost from the re-opening of China

Fund Raising/Grants
LIFEZONE Metals, which is supplying nickel processing technology to the Kabanga Nickel mine in Tanzania, is to list in New York after taking over GoGreen Investments Corporation, a blank cheque company.

News Stories
Nickel and base metals continue to drive exploration in the Sudbury mining camp with a handful of junior miners preparing for winter drill programs. Magna Mining, the redevelopers of a decommissioned INCO property near Whitefish, reported some high-grade nickel hits this week from its first drilling program at the former Crean Hill Mine.

The Padoe indigenous community that resides in the East Luwu Regency, South Sulawesi, remains apprehensive as the concession permit for a local nickel mining company continues to expand. Reports suggest their indigenous land plots are being claimed by the mining firm.

Redwood Materials is the latest company to set up shop in South Carolina’s growing community of electric vehicle and battery manufacturers, the Carson City, Nevada-based firm said on Wednesday.

In a city of pinstripes and partisan power brokers, Mike Allison sticks out like a sore thumb. He’s in the wrong place and he knows it. “I shouldn’t be here,” the denim-clad Indigenous elder suddenly says, fighting tears beneath the brim of his trademark cowboy hat.

This appears to also be the same story for MHP, which remains under pressure from elevated London Metal Exchange nickel prices. Chinese nickel sulfate price extends loss Nickel sulfate prices in China fell again in the week to December 9 due to continuing production cuts by downstream sectors, market sources told Fastmarkets.

A new battery maker, Sparkz, is moving ahead with plans for a new $700 million plant in Livermore, California, which promises to utilize a manufacturing process for a lithium-ion battery without using precious materials such as cobalt and nickel.

GTI Energy (ASX:GTR) has announced that four mud rotary drill rigs are now working at the Company’s ISR uranium projects in Wyoming’s Great Divide Basin. 18 of 22 drill holes encountered uranium mineralisation. Shares are trading 10 per cent higher at 1.1 cents.

Comet Vale has been one of the famous high grade gold mines of the WA Goldfields for over a century, but in recent times it has seen little in the way of modern exploration. Starting now, Labyrinth Resources (ASX:LRL) is on a mission to change that, beginning the first true surface exploration at Comet Vale in 15 years.

iners have long known that the abyssal depths of the ocean floor are filled with treasure. In 1873, a British expedition dredged up several potato-sized, black lumps from the North Atlantic seabed which turned out to be full of manganese, nickel, copper, and cobalt.

US$130m lithium mine sets Zim on growth path

Reuters is seeking an experienced reporter with a proven track record of breaking news and developing enterprise stories to cover the important and sprawling mining sector in Latin America. The role would involve covering a key mining region that is home to the world’s top producers of copper and vast reserves of lithium

At COP27, French president Emmanuel Macron called for an international ban on deep-sea mining. That same week, French ambassador Olivier Guyonvarch formally proposed a ban during a council meeting of the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

Magna Mining Inc. has announced that first assays have been received from its recent drilling at Crean Hill. Drillhole MCR-22-003 intersected massive sulfide mineralisation, grading 6.0 % Ni, 0.3 % Cu, 0.7 g/t Pt+Pd+Au over 5.8 m. The company has completed 10 drillholes to date and expects to resume diamond drilling in early January 2023.

Prospector Metals Corp. (TSX-V:PPP, OTCQX:ETHOF) has outlined its drill plans for next year across its projects, which includes a maiden campaign at the company’s fully funded Whitton nickel-copper project in Ontario.

KoBold Metals, a start-up backed by a coalition of billionaires including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, has committed $150 million to developing the Mingomba copper-cobalt mine in Zambia, said to be the world’s highest-grade undeveloped large deposit of the orange metal.

Canada-based miner First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) said on Friday it is going through “all available legal means” after the Panamanian government ordered it to pause operations at its flagship copper mine over a payments dispute.

While the world is gearing up for transitioning to net zero emissions within the next 3-5 decades, an assessment by the International Energy Agency (IEA) says minerals and metals needed to manufacture clean energy technologies to achieve climate goals are mostly controlled by one country China.

Toughest Material On Earth: While examining a metallic alloy made of chromium, cobalt, and nickel known as CrCoNi, researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have observed the highest toughness ever recorded for any material.

The global nickel market surplus edged down to 15,200 tonnes in October from 15,500 tonnes in September, data from the Lisbon-based International Nickel Study Group (INSG) showed on Wednesday. During the first 10 months of the year, the global market was in a surplus of 78,300 tonnes

As of December 16, port inventories of nickel ore in China added 235,000 wmt to 9.12 million wmt compared with last Friday. The total Ni content stood at around 72,000 mt. The port inventory of nickel ore across seven major Chinese ports stood at 4.99 million wmt, 215,000 wmt higher than the previous week.

Tanzania’s mining industry is set for more global exposure after Lifezone Metals, the parent company of locally-based Tembo Nickel, is set to list at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after the completion of a series of transactions.

CSE-listed Platinex has signed a binding letter of intent to option a 100% ownership interest in the Muskrat Dam critical minerals project, in north-western Ontario. The project, located about 125 km northeast of Frontier Lithium’s PAK lithium project and 125 km northwest of Newmont’s Musselwhite gold mine, comprises six property blocks

“THESE THINGS ARE hard to tip over,” geologist Wilson Bonner assures me as the four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle he’s piloting tilts suddenly sideways, pitching me toward the churned up mud beneath our wheels.

The push for green transport has brought with it greater demand for the metals that go into EV batteries. Constant mining of the land for cobalt, nickel, lithium, and copper comes with its own issues around environmental and human-rights abuses.

‘Nearly a tenth of marine life on the verge of extinction’

Brixton Metals (TSXV: BBB) says the first batch of drill results from its Langis cobalt project in northeast Ontario confirms high-grade ore. Hole LM-22-254 cut 30.5 metres of 0.35% cobalt, 5.97 grams silver per tonne and 0.08% nickel from 121 metres down hole, Brixton said in a news release on Dec. 13.

Electric vehicles are hailed by automakers and environmentalists as one of the answers to pressing environmental issues like climate change and air pollution. EVs have electric drivetrains, which result in zero carbon emissions.

The United States and other western countries on Monday announced an alliance to produce and buy critical minerals from countries with stronger environmental and labor standards, a move that could reduce business with market leader China.

Canada has announced Critical Minerals Strategy as part of its efforts to become a global supplier for critical minerals and clean digital technologies. The strategy aims to boost the production and processing of the country’s 31 critical minerals, which include lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite and zinc, among others, reported Reuters.

In previous editions of this publication, we have presented our views on the potential valuation impact of the covid-19 pandemic and the disruption caused by covid-19 on the energy transition. Both of our previous chapters focused on long-term structural changes to the mining industry caused by covid-19

Caerus Mineral Resources PLC (LSE:CMRS) said it has entered into an exclusive option agreement with major shareholder EV Metals (EVM) to acquire 90% of Saudi-focused RIWAQ Al Mawarid for Mining (RIWAQ).

Ford Motor Co. and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. are considering building a battery manufacturing plant in Michigan in a complex arrangement designed to reap new tax benefits without running afoul of US-China political sensitivities.

Geoscience technology innovator SensOre Ltd has announced the launch of iChromite, a new suite of automated mineral chemistry assessment tools it has developed that it says can identify exploration targets more efficiently and accurately.

Green minerals (also known as clean energy metals, energy transition minerals and critical minerals) play a key role in efforts to decarbonize by shifting sources away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Raw materials such as copper, cobalt, and rare earth metals are scarce on land. Deep-sea mining companies, therefore, want to dig for them on the seabed. One of them is the Canadian company Impossible Metals.

First female general manager at BHP Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter in almost 50 years

Mining output in South Africa has remained firmly in contractionary territory after falling more than expected in October due to a number of headwinds facing the industry. Data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) yesterday showed that mining production in South Africa slipped by 10.4% year on year in October

Electric cars are frequently criticized for hidden environmental impacts, from carbon dioxide emitted during manufacturing to the source of electricity while charging. A point of criticism is the environmental risks associated with mining lithium, a vital component of electric car batteries.

The Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC), FNI’s Surigao-based operating arm, has been awarded the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for the Surface Mining Operation Category during the 68th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference held in Baguio City recently.

Responding to the passing of a new EU law which requires companies selling batteries for electric cars and other electronic devices in the EU to comply with new rules designed to prevent human rights abuses and environmental harm in their supply chains, Mark Dummett, Head of Business and Human Rights at Amnesty International, said:

The US sanctioned Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s richest tycoon and the president and biggest shareholder of mining giant MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, but left his company untouched as it tries to maintain stability in the metals market.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, on Tuesday, said that Nigeria’s mining and the metal sector is set to witness increased interest from foreign investors as a result of the successes recorded by Segilola Resources Operating Limited (SROL) in gold production.

The Biden administration may fund 12 critical mineral mining projects in foreign countries to advance its climate agenda despite continuously impeding domestic mining ventures, Axios reported Monday.

The action against were part of a broader sanctions package the Treasury Department rolled out Thursday, targeting some 40 people linked to Russia’s government. The US sanctioned Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s richest tycoon and the president and biggest shareholder of mining giant MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC

Hedge fund AQR Capital Management and four others asked a British judge on Friday to force the London Metal Exchange (LME) to hand over phone call transcripts and meeting notes about the LME’s March decision to cancel trades.

In a city of pinstripes and partisan power brokers, Mike Allison sticks out like a sore thumb. He’s in the wrong place and he knows it. “I shouldn’t be here,” the denim-clad Indigenous elder suddenly says, fighting tears beneath the brim of his trademark cowboy hat.

Today, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) added Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin along with several of his companies to the Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN”) List. OFAC’s action specifically targets Mr. Potanin, Interros, an investment holding company controlled by Mr. Potanin, and Rosbank, a major Russian bank owned by Interros.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo underlined issues concerning equality and mutual respect in his speech at the European Union – ASEAN Summit held in Brussels, Belgium, this week. Before a number of European leaders, the President spoke openly about cooperation prospects that are currently marred by nickel dispute

Fund Raising/Grants
The Biden administration is looking at funding roughly a dozen mineral projects overseas in a bid for more resources used in lower-carbon technologies. Why it matters: Supporting more mining overseas could ease a raw material squeeze hurting electric vehicles

The mining company Ring of Fire Metals appeared in the lobby registry this week, registered by consultants at Cumberland Strategies. It is looking to work with the government to develop the Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper, platinum, palladium and chromite deposits, which are located in the James Bay Lowlands of northern Ontario in the region known as the “Ring of Fire.”

Mincor Resources will pass the hat for $60 million to accelerate underground development at its Northern Operations, and accelerate underground exploration and resource definition diamond drilling at its new Cassini operation in Western Australia.

A group of hedge funds led by AQR Capital Management LLC said that they lost a combined $95 million during a turbulent few days when the London Metal Exchange controversially canceled billions of dollars in nickel trades and suspended the market.

The Government of Canada on Friday released its Critical Minerals Strategy , backed by up to $3.8 billion in federal funding allocated in Budget 2022. (Earlier post.) The proposed funding covers a range of industrial activities, from geoscience and exploration to mineral processing, manufacturing

Saskatchewan’s economy has been booming for years, partly because of the billions of dollars invested in potash mining. Could lithium become Manitoba’s potash, driving investment and job creation in the north Since 2017, employment in the mining sector in Manitoba has fallen by 50 per cent to about 4,100.

The US economy showed signs of slowing, with retail sales and manufacturing dropping last month. But the labor market despite thousands of firings by tech firms, banks and others in recent weeks remained resilient as employers largely held onto workers.

Business Partnership
Austmine is partnering with CNRT to solve a critical operational challenge impacting nickel mining projects in New Caledonia. A solution is needed to reduce the moisture content of nickel oxide ore and to optimise operations to make the production more resilient to recurrence of tropical rainfalls and further impacts of climate change.

Environment/ Climate
As many of you may know, I was born in Elliot Lake, the proud daughter of a miner. Representing Sudbury, I can tell you it still runs through my veins. Mining has always been one of Canada’s economic cornerstones. Today, this sector matters more than ever.

The noise around carbon emissions reduction and the transition to a green economy is deafening, particularly as we observe the progress of COP27. As a result, it can be hard to get a feel for what is going well and what isn’t.

Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) Environmental teams, with representatives from all of its subsidiaries, got together for the first time as a group in Surigao del Norte to map their corporate direction for 2023 and to dissect and absorb the new environmental law issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) early this year.

This morning featured two more chunky merger announcements in the climate tech space, each valued at $1.5 billion. Why it matters: The market volatility has impacted a lot of industries, but climate tech is weathering the economic storm and is even able to pull off something unthinkable in other sectors: the announcement of two SPAC deals in as many days.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its Mines and Geosciences Bureau, has recognized several mining companies that operate in the most socially, economically, and environmentally responsible way.