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Nickel News

Miners report first-quarter output ahead of financials

By: Henry Lazenby Several miner this week reported production results ahead of publishing financial results for the three months ended March 31. NYSE- and TSX-listed McEwen Mining reported gold output increased 23% to 24 696 oz and silver production decreased 10% to 655 339 oz in the period when compared with the... 

BHP Billiton shuts oven at Colombia ferronickel plant, cutting output

By: Reuters BHP Billiton has shut an oven at its Cerro Matoso ferronickel plant in Colombia after equipment damage, cutting output by as much as three quarters, the president of the union representing the plant's workers told Reuters on Friday. Damage to a crane stopped production of one of two ovens at the... 

Philippines likely to ban export of nickel ore, says consultancy

By: Dylan Stewart To take full advantage of its booming nickel production, there is internal pressure on the Philippines to encourage local beneficiation and ban the export of ore, says mining consultancy firm Core Consultants MD Lara Smith. 

Philippines likely to ban  export of nickel ore,  says consultancy
INCREASED MARKET SHARE By 2014 the Phillipines export of nickel ore has increased six fold since 2006, with a large portion of the ore being sold to China

Mwana Africa lifts Q4 output despite challenges

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Despite numerous challenges, Aim-listed Mwana Africa increased gold production at its Freda Rebecca mine and nickel concentrate output at its Trojan mine, in Zimbabwe, during the three months ended March 31. The diversified miner noted in a statement to shareholders on Thursday that it had... 

Sherritt International confirms strike action at Madagascar plant

By: Henry Lazenby Diversified Canadian miner Sherritt International confirmed on Wednesday that certain employees were partaking in strike action at its Ambatovy nickel/cobalt plant, near Toamasina, Madagascar. The strike followed a short similar action at the Ambatovy mine last month, which, together with... 

Western Areas reports solid March quarter performance

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Nickel miner Western Areas has reported another strong quarter, despite a planned shutdown at its mill during February this year. Production during the March quarter reached 6 702 t, compared with the 6 597 t delivered in the previous quarter. Year-to-date production has been recorded at 19 959... 

Union at Colombia's BHP Billiton ferronickel mine to strike

By: Reuters Union workers at Colombia's Cerro Matoso mine, the world's sixth-largest producer of ferronickel, will begin an indefinite strike on Tuesday in protest over longer working hours, the union president said. The move comes after Cerro Matoso, owned by BHP Billiton, increased shifts from eight to 12... 

IMX JV deal gains traction

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Tanzanian Ministry for Energy and Minerals has granted ASX-listed IMX Resources a five year retention licence over the Ntaka Hill tenement area, allowing for the completion of a joint venture (JV) agreement. In December last year, IMX agreed to a $6-million deal with Mauritius-based Fig Tree... 

South32 turns bearish as tax inquiry, iron-ore put ‘sell’ skids under BHP

By: Martin Creamer With the shareholder vote just over three weeks away, the planned spin-off of South32 from BHP Billiton has turned bearish and BHP Billiton has itself fallen victim to an unprecedented number of analyst sell recommendations owing to the plummeting iron-ore price, worsened by the reputational... 

South32 turns bearish as tax inquiry, iron-ore put ‘sell’ skids under BHP
Photo by Duane Daws
The BHP Billiton building in central Johannesburg

Fall in oil, commodity prices to exact toll on Africa’s 2015 growth 

By: Terence Creamer A new World Bank report is forecasting that sub-Saharan Africa’s growth will slow to 4% in 2015 from 4.5% in 2014, owing to the weak commodity prices and the sharp fall in oil prices, which will exact a heavy toll on African oil exporters. Excluding South Africa, whose economic performance is... 

Fall in oil, commodity prices to exact toll on Africa’s 2015 growth

Panoramic production lower in March quarter

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Nickel producer Panoramic Resources expected full-year production to be at the lower end of the guidance, of between 20 000 t and 21 000 t, as the March quarter delivered less volume. Panoramic told shareholders on Friday that nickel-in-concentrate production for the full year would be affected... 

Ambatovy ramp-up continues despite reduced output in March

By: Henry Lazenby Diversified Canadian miner Sherritt International has advised that finished nickel output at its Ambatovy project, near Moramanga, Madagascar, was lower than expected owing to a plant shutdown in late February following a hydrogen sulphide gas release and a recent strike. For March, finished... 

Poseidon takes ownership of Black Swan

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Nickel miner Poseidon has taken full operational control of the Black Swan nickel project, in Western Australia, after completing the purchase agreement with major Norilsk Nickel. Poseidon initially planned to use the 2.2-million-tonne Black Swan processing plant to treat the ore from its... 

Nova on schedule - Sirius

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Nickel developer Sirius Resources on Monday said that the development of its Nova project, in Western Australia, was running on schedule, with the company also announcing GR Engineering Services as the preferred tenderer for the processing plant. The Nova nickel mine was expected to deliver... 

First Nickel trims 2014 FY net loss

By: Henry Lazenby Ontario-based nickel producer First Nickel has reported a narrower net loss for full-year 2014, as higher nickel prices and improved sales volumes boosted the bottom line. The company, which operates the Lockerby mine, in the Sudbury basin, on Thursday reported a net loss of C$20.7-million for... 

Electricity-slashing platinum game changer expected by December 

By: Martin Creamer The target date is the end of this year for the decision to go ahead with the commercial implementation of a paradigm shift technology that will mine and refine platinum in an integrated on-site process and use only a tenth of the electricity normally consumed. Major detail design work has... 

Electricity-slashing platinum game changer expected by December
Photo by Duane Daws
Arne Frandsen

Sherritt International appoints ArcelorMittal Canada exec as COO

By: Henry Lazenby TSX-listed Sherritt International Corp has named ArcelorMittal Mining Canada president and CEO Steve Wood as its new COO effective from April 27. Wood would oversee all Sherritt's operations in Canada, Cuba and Madagascar, including the environmental, health and safety, sustainability,... 

Seize opportunity to improve mining tax, pleads KPMG’s Saloojee

By: Martin Creamer South Africa should seize the current timely opportunity to amend its mining taxation in a manner that encourages foreign investment, stimulates prospecting, gets mining companies to start dealing with marginal mines and gives enough back to the fiscus for the benefit of this country's people,... 

Seize opportunity to improve mining tax, pleads KPMG’s Saloojee
Muhammad Saloojee

Ntaka Hill deal revised - IMX

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed IMX Resources has agreed to revise the terms of a proposed joint venture (JV) with Mauritius-based Fig Tree Resources Fund II, following the completion of a due diligence on the Ntaka Hill nickel project, in Tanzania. The revised transaction structure would incorporate an increase in... 

Canada's Sherritt hit by strike at Madagascar mine

By: Reuters Diversified Canadian miner Sherritt International said on Monday a strike by employees at its Ambatovy nickel mine in Madagascar had forced the company to curb output there. The company said the strike had started a week ago and was continuing despite efforts to reach a resolution. The mine is... 

Noront Resources consolidates position in Ontario’s Ring of Fire for a bargain 

By: Henry Lazenby Northern Ontario’s emerging minerals-rich Ring of Fire (RoF) mining camp has a new champion after US-focused iron-ore producer Cliffs Natural Resources agreed to bow out of the prospective region by selling its claims to explorer Noront Resources for $20-million. Noront, which was currently in... 

Noront Resources consolidates position in Ontario’s Ring of Fire for a bargain

Sherritt International achieves major production milestone at Madagascar nickel project 

By: Henry Lazenby Pending independent verification, multinational miner Sherritt International has achieved a significant production milestone at its Ambatovy nickel project, in Madagascar, after securing the sixth – and one of the most critical – of ten certificates under the terms of the project’s financing... 

Glencore opts for squeaky clean

By: Martin Creamer Mining and marketing giant Glencore on Thursday took the unprecedented step of signing a major human rights commitment with a top human rights body, in a bid to keep its activities beyond reproach and squeaky clean. In its latest step of many recent steps to keep the company firmly on mining's... 

Glencore opts for squeaky clean
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

Zinc metal deficit expected to intensify – Glencore

By: Martin Creamer The zinc metal market’s 2014 deficit is expected to intensify this year, Glencore says in its latest annual report. The 200-page document, in which CEO Ivan Glasenberg notes slower than expected post-financial-crisis normalisation, positions the company as one able to react quickly and benefit... 

Zinc metal deficit expected to intensify – Glencore
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

Poseidon updates Lake Johnston resource

By: Esmarie Swanepoel A geological review of the Maggie Hays deposit, located at the Lake Johnston deposit, in Western Australia, has resulted in a 50% increase in the indicated resource, owner Poseidon Nickel said on Tuesday. Poseidon noted that 80% of the drilled resource at Maggie Hays was classified as indicated. 

Future lies in governments creating exciting legislative empowerment – Motsepe 

By: Martin Creamer Southern Africa’s economic future lies in the creation by governments of exciting legislative, regulatory and fiscal empowerment that stimulates private sector investment. That is the view of Patrice Motsepe, executive chairperson of South Africa’s black-controlled African Rainbow Minerals (ARM)... 

Future lies in governments creating exciting legislative empowerment – Motsepe
Photo by Duane Daws
Patrice Motsepe

ARM’s Motsepe urges serious govt intervention on Eskom let down

By: Martin Creamer Patrice Motsepe, chairperson of the black-controlled diversified mining company African Rainbow Minerals, on Monday urged the government to intervene seriously to establish Eskom as a competitive, cost-effective, reliable provider of electricity. Speaking at ARM’s presentation of interim results,... 

ARM’s Motsepe urges serious govt intervention on Eskom let down
Photo by Duane Daws
Patrice Motsepe

Across-board ARM review as earnings plunge 56%

By: Martin Creamer Black-controlled diversified mining company African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), which saw its half-year headline earnings plummet by 56%, is responding with an across-the-board review of its performance and expenditure. The JSE-listed company, headed by executive chairperson Patrice Motsepe, on... 

Across-board ARM review as earnings plunge 56%
Photo by Duane Daws
Patrice Motsepe

Ambatovy ramp-up suffers setback following February fatality

By: Henry Lazenby Output in late February and early March from Sherritt International Corp’s Ambatovy nickel project, in Madagascar, has been significantly impacted following the death of a contractor working at the project.  He and two other workers were exposed to a hydrogen sulphide gas leak in February, which... 

Glencore commits to migrating first world safety to third world countries 

By: Martin Creamer Diversified major Glencore, which reported 16 fatalities last year, has committed itself to migrating first-world safety practices into challenging geographies where more than 80% of the deaths took place. The London-, Hong Kong- and Johannesburg-listed company’s SafeWork programme – in which 118... 

Glencore commits to migrating first world safety to third world countries
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

BNC closes $20m bond, progresses smelter restart plans

Aim-listed Mwana Africa’s 74.73%-owned subsidiary Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) has successfully closed a $20-million bond to buy new equipment for its smelter, in Zimbabwe. BNC was planning to reopen the smelter by December.  

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