Prices have fallen substantially since then — in fact, at the beginning of May, nickel was changing hands at $9,510, down 4 percent year-to-date. Along with tin, it was one of the year’s worst-performing commodities.
The metal’s shifting price is the result of a number of challenges in the nickel space. The main one, of course, is the ever-changing political climate in the Philippines and Indonesia, two major nickel-producing countries. Analysts have different opinions on what could come next. Wood Mackenzie estimates that prices will remain low in 2017 and 2018, averaging $9,890 a tonne; meanwhile, Bahana Securities believes nickel will rise to $12,500 in 2017.
Despite challenges, there are at least a few top nickel stocks worth highlighting. The three nickel-focused companies below have all seen share price gains since the beginning of the year. All are listed on either the TSX or TSXV and had market caps above $15 million as of May 16, 2017.
1.Talon Metals (TSX:TLO)
Market cap: $23.67 million; year-to-date gain: 53.85 percent
Talon Metals is first on this list of top nickel stocks. The company has an 18.45-percent interest in the Tamarack nickel-copper-PGMs project in Minnesota. Kennecott Exploration Company, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO), has a majority stake in the project. Tamarack is currently in the exploration phase, and Talon released the latest drill results from the project on May 2.
2. Asian Mineral Resources (TSXV:ASN)
Market cap: $23.67 million; year-to-date gain: 50 percent
Asian Mineral Resources has 90-percent ownership of the Ban Phuc nickel sulfide mine and processing plant in Vietnam. The mine produces 6,400 tonnes of nickel, 3,200 tonnes of copper and 200 tonnes of cobalt annually. The company is the first mainstream nickel producer in Vietnam, and it plans to expand operations at Ban Phuc; it has identified 12 exploration targets there so far. The Vietnamese government has offered the company reduced export tariffs and other incentives to develop a matte smelter.
3.First Point Minerals (TSX:FPX)
Market cap: $16.29 million; year-to-date gain: 35.29 percent
In third place on this list of top nickel stocks is First Point Minerals. The company’s flagship Decar project is located in Central BC. It is targeting a particular type of naturally occurring metallic nickel-iron alloy called awaruite. Most recently, the company received financing for a drill program at Decar. The company has also made discoveries at two sites in Northern BC and one in the Yukon.
Other top nickel stocks
The three TSX- and TSXV-listed companies discussed above are focused primarily on nickel, but many other companies have projects where nickel is a smaller component. Here are two such companies that have seen impressive share price gains since the start of the year. Like the stocks above, both are listed on either the TSX or TSXV and had market caps over $15 million as of May 16, 2017.
- Sama Resources (TSXV:SME) — Sama Resources’ share price has gained 162.5 percent year-to-date and it has a market cap of $31.79 million. The company has two exploration-stage projects in Africa: the Lola graphite project located in Guinea, and the Ivory Coast-based Samapleu nickel-copper-palladium project.
- Wallbridge Mining (TSX:WM) — Wallbridge Mining’s market cap is $22.77 million, and its share price has risen 81.82 percent year-to-date. The company is exploring for copper, nickel and PGMs in Ontario, and plans to reach a production decision regarding its Fenelon gold project in Quebec this year. Wallbridge also has a 13-percent stake in Carube Copper (TSXV:CUC).
Did we miss a TSX- or TSXV-listed nickel company whose share price was up year-to-date as of May 16, 2017? Please let us know in the comments!
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates.
Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Shaw, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Carube Copper and Wallbridge Mining are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.
This article is updated periodically. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information
4 Top Nickel Stocks
By Jocelyn Aspa, 2016
Throughout 2016, the nickel price has staggered slightly, starting the year off at $3.91 per pound before dropping to $3.51 in February. After that, the price shot back up to $4.21 in March, but has been relatively shaky ever since then.
Still, year-to-date overall, the nickel price has gone up 7.43 percent—an increase of $0.29—to $4.23 as of June 29, per Kitco.
FocusEconomics‘ June 2016 report states that the nickel price hasn’t fared well this year in part due to weak demand from foreign economies, such as China. However, prices are expected to continue rising.
A number of analysts surveyed suggested prices will rise throughout 2016, with a maximum forecast of $12,489 per metric tonne and a minimum of $8,524.
With that in mind, a number of nickel mining companies have seen their stocks rise this year. Here’s a look at some of the top nickel stocks up over 60 percent at the halfway mark of the year, with a market capitalization minimum of $10 million.
Wallbridge Mining Company (TSX:WM)
Wallbridge Mining is first on our list of top nickel stocks. The firm holds a variety of exploration properties and continues to explore on its nickel, copper and platinum projects in Ontario. Most of it is funded by joint venture partners.
In April, the company reported results from its Parkin exploration project, which included an intercept of 24.25 meters grading 1.22 percent nickel. The release adds that the Parkin Properties are being explored for high-grade polymetallic nickel, copper and platinum group metals.
Year-to-date, the company’s shares have sharply risen by 200 percent, which is a $0.05 increase, to $0.075. Wallbridge’s shares have also been successful over the past year, rising 87.5 percent overall.
Royal Nickel (TSE:RNX)
Currently, Royal Nickel is focusing its efforts on its 100 percent owned Dumont nickel project, located in Quebec. When in production, the project is expected to rank as the fifth-largest nickel sulphide operation in the world by annual production. By 2017, the company has set a target for commissioning and ramp-up.
In June, Royal Nickel announced the closing of a bought deal financing of 17,060,000 common shares at a price of $0.51 per share.
The company’s shares have steadily gained 122.22 percent year-to-date, which is a $0.22 increase so far, to sit at $0.40 per share.
Balmoral Resources (TSX:BAR)
Over the past year, Balmoral Resources shares have made small gains of 26.76 percent. More recently, however, the company has seen its share price rise more sharply. Year-to-date, shares of Balmoral are up 109.3 percent to $0.90 overall.
In addition to its gold projects in Quebec’s Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Balmoral holds the Grasset nickel project, which also hosts copper, cobalt, platinum and palladium mineralization. The project was discovered by the company back in 2014, and represents its first discovery of magmatic nickel-copper-cobalt-platinum-group-element mineralization in that part of the belt. In March of 2016, Balmoral released its initial resource estimate for the deposit, which can be seen here.
First Point Minerals (TSX:FPX)
Rounding out the list of our top nickel stocks is First Point Minerals, which has seen its shares increase by 60 percent year-to-date to $0.08. While the company’s stocks over a one-year period, have gained only 6.67 percent, they have stayed out of the red between June 30, 2015-June 29, 2016.
The company is currently exploring for awaruite nickel mineralization, which is a metallic nickel-iron alloy that contains little to no sulphides.
Most recent news regarding First Point’s 100 percent owned Decar project came in November 2015, when the company announced that it had completed a transaction with affiliates of Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) to purchase Cliffs’s 60 percent interest in the Decar nickel project.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Wallbridge Mining Company is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.