Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: Most Metals Slump After Holiday

- April 26th, 2019

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

Despite the market week being shortened by holidays around the world, most base metals trended downwards, and zinc managed to be the underdog.

Facing an especially tough week on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was nickel, which continued the downward slope it’s been on since April 17. In that time, the commodity has dropped from US$12,945 per tonne to Thursday’s (April 25) price point of US$12,265.

However, base metal comrade zinc managed to make some upward progress by the end of the week. After hitting a weekly low of US$2,857 per tonne on Wednesday (April 24), the commodity shimmied upward to US$2,869.50 by Thursday.

Lead prices took a small dip this week after starting Tuesday (April 23) at US$1,925 per tonne and ending Thursday at US$1,900. Meanwhile, iron ore ended the week on a sour note, dropping 3.5 percent to US$89.99 per tonne by 2:15 a.m. EDT on Friday (April 26).

Copper also fell flat, starting Tuesday around $6,429 per tonne and ending Thursday down at $6,374.50.

Top news stories

1. CITIC Makes Major C$612 Million Investment in Ivanhoe

For the second time in less than a year, CITIC Metal (OTC Pink:CTPCY,HKEX:0267) has made a major investment in Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN,OTCQX:IVPAF), this time contributing C$612 million to the Canadian miner’s checkbook.

Made through its subsidiary CITIC Metal Africa Investments, the funding to Ivanhoe entails a payment of C$3.98 per share, representing a 29 percent premium over the company’s last closing price. Ivanhoe will then issue over 153.8 million common shares to CITIC Metal Africa, boosting CITIC’s stake in the company to 29.9 percent upon completion of the placement.

CITIC previously paid Ivanhoe C$723 million in September 2018 for a 19.5 percent share of the company, which made it Ivanhoe’s largest shareholder; it maintains that position with the new contribution.

2. Koolan Island Comes Back to Life with Iron Ore Shipment

After two years of redevelopment and refurbishment work, Mount Gibson Iron (ASX:MGX,OTC Pink:MTGRF) has resumed sales of iron ore from its Koolan Island operation in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

A cargo ship loaded with about 72,000 wet metric tonnes of high-grade hematite iron ore, which averages 65 percent iron, was due to depart for customers in China on Wednesday.

“It is very satisfying to bring the unique high-grade Koolan Island mine back into production after more than two years of dedicated effort by the Mount Gibson team. We also greatly appreciate the ongoing support from the Dambimangari community in achieving this milestone,” Mount Gibson CEO Peter Kerr said in a statement.

3. Mincor Boosts Nickel Resource at Cassini by 52 Percent

A resource update from Mincor Resources’ (ASX:MCR,OTC Pink:MCRZF) Cassini nickel sulfide deposit has seen the Western Australian asset grow by 52 percent or 9,800 tonnes of nickel.

On Tuesday, the company announced that a successful diamond drilling strategy, which took place in the March 2019 quarter, helped bring forward the 52 percent growth that pushed contained nickel to 28,500 tonnes. Cassini’s overall mineral resource now sits at 780,000 tonnes at 3.7 percent nickel, with 83 percent of the resource now in the indicated category.

“This is a tremendous result, which justifies our decision to increase the number of rigs operating with a focus on rapidly increasing the resource and testing extensions, particularly in the CS4 channel,” Mincor Managing Director David Southam said in a statement.

Also in the news

In a statement released Friday, Australian miner Aurelia Metals (ASX:AMI) confirmed that it is exploring the option of acquiring Glencore’s (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLNCY) CSA copper mine in New South Wales. A question regarding rumors of Aurelia’s interest had been raised during a quarterly report conference call, with the company subsequently stating that “preliminary discussion” regarding a possible transaction has taken place.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian iron ore producer Ferrexpo (LSE:FXPO) saw a startling 27.13 percent drop in its share price on Friday after Deloitte resigned as the company’s auditor. The move comes days after Ferrexpo announced that company funds contributed to a particular charity — Blooming Land — could have been “misappropriated.”

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

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