Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: Metals Cool by Week’s End

Base Metals Investing

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

Though some base metals made major gains through the week, all of them came to a simmer by the end of the period.

Nickel made progress this week as it climbed from Monday’s (August 12) price point of US$15,630 per tonne to a peak of US$16,045 by Wednesday (August 14). Thursday (August 15) saw the red hot commodity take a breather, however, as prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell to US$15,985.

Also hitting its weekly high on Wednesday was zinc, which started the week at US$2,238 per tonne to later peak at US$2,268.50. By Thursday, the metal had dipped to US$2,260 on the LME.

Taking a nosedive straight away this week was lead, as it peaked on Monday with a price of US$2,103 per tonne. The commodity then fell to US$2,043 on Tuesday (August 13), setting the pace for the metal’s week ahead; it closed at the same price on Thursday.

Meanwhile, copper kept things lively this week as it zigzagged between highs and lows. The red metal continuously flipped between being above and below the US$5,700 per tonne mark, going on to peak at US$5,731 on Wednesday. The metal then fell to US$5,696 by Thursday.

Continuing their cooldown, iron ore prices hovered around the US$95 per tonne mark this week. However, the commodity hit a snag on Friday (August 16) as it fell to US$91.61 as of 1:00 a.m. EDT.

Top base metals news stories

1. EV Copper Consumption to Grow 250 Percent by 2030: WoodMac

A new report from Wood Mackenzie estimates that copper consumption is set to rise over 250 percent by 2030 with the implementation of 20 million electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

As the EV movement heats up, production of the commodities needed for their batteries and other components is also on the rise. This includes copper and metals like nickel and cobalt; as such, companies involved with the metals are getting their ducks in a row before demand goes off the charts.

According to Henry Salisbury, a research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, copper is set to be the “cornerstone” of the EV revolution.

2. Nickel Mines Boosts Ranger Stake to 60 Percent

Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) has successfully boosted its stake in the Ranger nickel project in Indonesia from 17 percent to a whopping majority share at 60 percent.

In an announcement released Thursday, Nickel Mines referred to the boost as the “second acquisition” of Ranger. According to the company, it exercised its option to increase its stake in the project within 60 days of first nickel pig iron (NPI) production.

In early June, the company marked first NPI production at Ranger off its to do list in a maiden production run of one of the project’s two rotary kilns.

3. Horizonte Expects Nickel Deposit to Fuel Battery Market

Horizonte Minerals (TSX:HZM,LSE:HZM) has unveiled a fresh mineral resource estimate for its Serra do Tapa nickel deposit near Brazil’s Carajás mining district.

Across the measured and indicated categories, Serra do Tapa’s resource stands at 70.3 million tonnes grading 1.22 percent nickel. Alongside the company’s Araguaia and Vermelho projects, also in Brazil, Horizonte now has a total measured and indicated mineral resource of 280 million tonnes.

Of that amount, 3.5 million tonnes are contained nickel and 155,000 tonnes are contained cobalt. With Serra do Tapa, Horizonte’s aggregate mineral resource has risen by 30 percent in tonnage.

Also in the news

Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) has successfully completed a C$612 million investment from CITIC Metal Africa. The company is now in a position to fully fund its share the money that will bring the Kakula copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo to commercial production.

Also closing deals this week was Imperial Metals (TSX:III), which has now officially sold a 70 percent interest in the Red Chris copper-gold mine to Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM). Located in British Columbia, Canada, the deal went for a hefty US$804 million; the two are now working as joint venture partners with Imperial having retained a 30 percent stake.

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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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