Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: Metals Dive by Mid-week

- May 24th, 2019

What happened in the base metals space this week? Here’s a look at the top stories covered by the Investing News Network.

Most base metals peaked this week on Tuesday (May 21), finding themselves sliding downward by the mid-week mark to hit their weekly lows on Thursday (May 23).

Although zinc grew to US$2,722 per tonne by Tuesday on the London Metal Exchange (LME), plunged down to US$2,667 by Thursday. Nickel saw a similar story as it peaked at US$12,025 per tonne on Tuesday but crashed to US$11,860 on the LME by Thursday.

Lead managed to tread carefully at the beginning of the week as it made minimal movement between Monday (May 20) and Tuesday. However, much like its base metal comrades, it hit a snag by mid-week and ended Thursday at US$1,779 per tonne on the LME.

As for copper, it peaked at $6,003 per tonne on Tuesday before crumbling to US$5,859 by Thursday.

Iron ore trended up this week as the commodity shimmied out of the US$96 per tonne bracket into the US$97 zone; as of 3:02 a.m. EDT on Friday (May 24), prices had grown 0.85 percent to reach US$98.14.

Base metals top news stories

1. Fortescue Green Lights Queens Valley Development in Pilbara

Beefing up its iron ore operations in Western Australia’s Pilbara region is Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG,OTCQX:FSUGY), which approved the development of the Queens Valley area on Tuesday.

Queens Valley will be part of the company’s pre-existing Solomon hub, which currently includes the Firetail and Kings Valley mines; the two mines have a cumulative production capacity of 70 million tonnes per year. The addition and development of Queens Valley will see the continued production of Fortescue’s low-alumina Kings Fines product.

“Fortescue’s integrated operations and marketing strategy defines a product portfolio that maximizes value from the Fortescue orebodies over the long term, ensuring the continued delivery of returns to shareholders,” Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines said in a statement.

2. Mincor to Acquire Independence Group’s Long Nickel

As it continues to build its nickel restart strategy in Western Australia’s Kambalda district, Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR,OTC Pink:MCRZF) has entered a binding agreement to acquire Independence Group’s (ASX:IGO) Long Nickel operation.

According to Mincor, the mine has been well maintained since being placed on care and maintenance by Independence in June 2018, keeping the asset in a “mining-ready” state.

With a production history dating back to 1979, Long Nickel hosts a mineral resource of 0.75 million tonnes at 4.2 percent nickel, with 32,000 of contained metal.

3. Nickel Mines Funds its Way to Larger Ranger Stake

After announcing its plan to raise its stake in the Ranger nickel project in April, Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) has signed a binding term sheet with Decent Investment International for US$80 million.

Last month, the company stated that it wished to increase its current 17 percent stake in Ranger, located in Indonesia, to 60 percent. The decision came as a collaborative choice between Nickel Mines and operating partner Shanghai Decent Investment, which owns the other 83 percent share in Ranger and is an associate of Decent Investment.

Through the fresh term sheet announced Tuesday, Shanghai or its associates will receive US$40 million worth of shares in Nickel Mines in exchange for 43 percent of Ranger. At the same time, Nickel Mines will work to raise an additional US$30 million in equity through a placement to investors.

Also in the news

Days after revealing its plan to acquire a new nickel asset, Mincor Resources announced that it will be raising AU$23 million through a share placement and purchase plan. The move comes as an additional effort to speed up its nickel restart strategy in Western Australia’s Kambalda district.

Also raising money this week was Myanmar Metals (ASX:MYL,OTC Pink:MYMRF), which successfully raised AU$20.8 million through a share placement. Proceeds from the placement are docketed to go towards a definitive feasibility study for its Bawdwin lead-silver project, along with drilling, geophysical and related exploration programs at the asset.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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