The Wall Street Journal reported that with nickel prices up 40 percent so far this year, many companies are spending more money on exploration. Higher prices have also led to more M&A activity.
As quoted in the market news:
Nickel prices have been rising sharply after Indonesia enforced an export ban on unprocessed mineral ores in January. The ban had been in the works since the passage of a 2009 mining law that aimed to add value to the country’s massive mining industry and develop a domestic metals-refining industry.
Some analysts think the rally has further to go. According to Citi, nickel prices will likely peak around US$26,500 a ton in 2016, compared with US$19,380 currently. Commonwealth Bank of Australia is predicting nickel prices will rise by around a third in the year through June 2015.
‘We have come through two to three years of tough times where we haven’t really had the cash to do much,’ Mr. Lougher said. ‘Now we have a very good balance sheet and it gives us a lot of positivity around what we can do with our operations.’