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

After spending the week trending upwards, nickel hit a snag near the end of the week that was further amplified on Friday (March 8) by Chinese trade data suggesting a slowing economy.

Nickel started the week at US$13,155 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange, growing to US$13,605 by Wednesday (March 6). Thursday (March 7) saw the commodity tumble to US$13,370 with fellow base metal zinc also teetering around US$2,784.5 per tonne, down from its Wednesday high of US$2,800.5.

Exports from China took their biggest plunge in three years in February, with imports also dropping for the third month in a row, according to Reuters. The trade data suggested that China’s economy was continuing to simmer, which the outlet said was at its weakest point in almost 30 years.

“The optimism that has been built up from an upcoming trade war deal has dissipated as underlying data shows that the picture isn’t as optimistic as everybody expected,” BMO Capital Markets Analyst Kash Kamal said.

As for lead, the base metal had a fairly stagnant week as it hovered around the US$2,090 per tonne mark, coming in at US$2,095 on Thursday. Meanwhile, iron ore prices dropped to US$83.44 per tonne on Friday, down from Monday’s closing price of US$85.42.

Also on a downswing was copper, which bounced back mid-week from Monday’s (March 4) US$6,419.5 per tonne price point, but eventually cooled down to US$6,370.55 by 10:03 a.m. EST.

Top News Stories

1. Vale: The Politics and Consequences of Córrego do Feijão

A rash of senior executives at Brazilian iron ore mine Vale (NYSE:VALE) have been stood aside in the aftermath of January’s Córrego do Feijão tailings dam collapse near Brumadinho in south-eastern Brazil, which could have claimed up to 300 lives.

Speaking with the Investing News Network, Senior Director at Americas Market Intelligence Remi Piet said that even though the upper levels of Vale had denied any knowledge of issues with the tailings dam in the lead up to the disaster, having them step aside was “completely understandable.”

“When a tailings dam bursts, it’s unacceptable for mining for any company because its a major security flaw — in the case of Vale, it’s even more important because of Samarco in 2015,” which the company is still paying reparations for, 4 years later.

2. OZ Minerals Eyes Carrapateena Copper Project Expansion

Following the completion of a scoping study, OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL,OTC Pink:OZMLF) believes it can double mine throughput and increase life-of-mine (LOM) average copper production at its Carrapateena asset.

The study explored the option of replacing the lower half of Carrapateena’s sub-level cave with a block cave from 2026, which found that the conversion would boost mine throughput from 4.25 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 10 to 12 Mtpa. Additionally, LOM average copper production would grow from 65,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to a range of 105,000 to 125,000 tpa.

“The Carrapateena block cave expansion work showed the conversion to a block cave to be the most value accretive next step for the Carrapateena resource and conceptually for the entire province, as it potentially enables a series of future add-on block caves, which themselves will now be the subject of a Carrapateena Life of Province Plan scoping study,” OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole said in a statement.

3. Wood Mackenzie: Watch Zinc Smelters, Not the Miners

After facing a tumultuous 2018, Wood Mackenzie Senior Research Analyst Rory Townsend feels that zinc smelters — not the miners — will push the battered commodity forward this year.

In a presentation given at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto, Canada, Townsend started by explaining some of zinc’s 2018 ups and downs.

“After reaching the highs of about US$3,600 in mid-February, [it] then fell to subsequent lows below US$2,300 in September. While we do feel that the peak in the price was premature, we don’t feel that the dramatic fall in the price was supported by fundamentals as metal stocks continued to fall through the year,” he said.

Also in the news

Also making headlines this week in base metals was Cornerstone Capital Resources (TSXV:CGP, OTC Pink:CTNXF) who rejected a hostile takeover bid from SolGold (TSX:SOLG,LSE:SOLG,OTC Pink:SLGGF). The rejection came on the basis that the SolGold’s offer was “not in the best interests” of the company’s shareholders.

Friday also saw an approval from Indonesia’s government regarding one-year export allowances for copper concentrate for miners PT Freeport Indonesia and PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara. According to Reuters, Freeport will receive an allowance of 198,282 wet tonnes of copper concentrate, while Amman will get 336,100 wet tonnes.

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

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

Featured

A growing supply deficit pushed palladium to US$2,892 per ounce this week before a mild correction forced values lower.

A growing supply deficit pushed the palladium price to US$2,892 per ounce this week before a mild correction forced values lower.

Shortages of the autocatalyst metal are expected to reach a five year high this year, a factor that will likely add more upside in the months ahead.

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Supported by a declining US dollar, gold maintained the gains it made at the beginning of May to sit above US$1,800 per ounce this week.

Gold maintained gains made at the beginning of May to sit above US$1,800 per ounce this week.

A drop in the US dollar pushed the yellow metal to the US$1,840 range before concerns over rising inflation and a potential interest rate increase muted gains.

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The other precious metals were also in the green and moving higher to start the month. Meanwhile, copper hit an all-time high.

The gold price was on an upward trend this week, ultimately breaching the important US$1,800 per ounce level for the first time since February 22.

After slipping to US$1,735 to end the second month of the year, gold values struggled to gain momentum in March. As headwinds from 10 year Treasury yields and the US dollar dissipated, concerns over inflation mounted, allowing the yellow metal to edge higher through April.

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Catch up and get informed with this week's content highlights from Charlotte McLeod, our editorial director.

Top Stories This Week: Powell Gets Fed Nomination, Using Gold in a Market Correction youtu.be

We're back after a break last week with quite a bit to cover in the gold space.

After running up past the US$1,860 per ounce mark midway through November, the yellow metal has taken a tumble. At the time of this writing on Friday (November 26) afternoon, it was sitting just under US$1,790.

Gold's losses this week have been attributed to elements like a stronger US dollar and better Treasury yields, although Jerome Powell's US Federal Reserve chair renomination has pulled other factors into play — some market watchers believe he may move to taper and raise interest rates faster than anticipated.


If the Fed follows its previously laid out timeline for tapering, it will wrap up in mid-2022; the central bank has said it won't raise rates until after that. It has also emphasized that its roadmap may change if necessary.

Looking at the larger picture for gold, I heard recently from Nick Barisheff of BMG Group, who believes the stock market is due for a major correction.

"The market is due for a major correction. What will cause it and when it will happen is anybody's guess — it could be tomorrow, it could be six months from now" — Nick Barisheff, BMG Group

It's impossible to know when this correction will happen, but Nick emphasized the importance of acting before it's too late. He pointed out that investors are typically slow to get out of the market once a crash actually begins — they wait for a turnaround, and by the time it's clear there won't be one, they've experienced big losses.

In his opinion, the solution is to get out of the stock market early and transfer money into gold.

Here's how Nick explained it:

"Instead of taking your money off the table and going into cash … you go to gold (because cash is devaluing daily). Gold will at least hold its own and probably appreciate … so by sitting it out in gold you can wait until the market finishes correcting and then buy back in" — Nick Barisheff, BMG Group

With gold's future in mind, we asked our Twitter followers this week what price they think the metal will be at the end of 2021. By the time the poll closed, most respondents had voted for the US$1,800 to US$1,900 range.

We'll be asking another question on Twitter next week, so make sure to follow us @INN_Resource or follow me @Charlotte_McL to share your thoughts.

Finally, in the cannabis space, INN's Bryan Mc Govern spoke with Dan Ahrens of AdvisorShares to get his thoughts on 2021 trends and what's ahead in 2022.

Dan was candid, and said if he had to choose one word to describe the cannabis market in 2021, it would be "painful." Like many others, he's been disappointed in the industry's performance — while positivity initially ran high due to excitement about potential federal changes in the US, ultimately progress has been slow.

"Cannabis started with a big run-up in January and February ... and things dragged from there" — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares

Still, Dan has hope for 2022 and said it will be a "huge year" for cannabis. He believes US reforms will come sooner rather than later, and in his opinion those widely anticipated changes will bring a wave of M&A activity.

Specifically, he expects to see alcohol, tobacco and other consumer packaged goods companies making deals with cannabis players, not just cannabis entities doing transactions with each other.

"Those big alcohol companies, tobacco companies, other consumer packaged goods product companies — they're waiting. They're waiting on the US" — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares

Want more YouTube content? Check out our YouTube playlist At Home With INN, which features interviews with experts in the resource space. If there's someone you'd like to see us interview, please send an email to cmcleod@investingnews.com.

And don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

cannabis plant layered with German flag graphic
Dmytro Tyshchenko / Shutterstock

Catch up on some of the biggest news of the week for the cannabis investment world.

Three political parties have formed a coalition in Germany, leading to a new government, and it has promised cannabis reform in the European nation.

Meanwhile, a popular cannabis retailer confirmed consumers will now find its products available for delivery on the Uber Eats mobile application in Ontario.

Keep reading to find out more cannabis highlights from the past five days.


Coalition of parties promises forward-looking cannabis policy

Germany, a country with comprehensive and elaborate medicinal rules for cannabis, is in a time of transition as a new government is set to begin to take over after 16 years of Angela Merkel.

Olaf Scholz, the proposed next chancellor of Germany, leads a three party coalition that will become the country's governing body. As part of its promises, talk of adult-use cannabis regulation has now gained even more momentum. A report from MJBizDaily quotes a German policy document that shows the coalition's stance:

"We are introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption purposes in licensed shops. This controls the quality, prevents the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantees the protection of minors."

However, despite the promise and excitement, it remains to be seen how these ideas will be applied since no formal regulations have been drafted or approved yet.

Canadian cannabis retailer partners with popular delivery app

Tokyo Smoke, a cannabis retail operator in Canada owned by Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC,TSX:WEED), announced a collaboration agreement with Uber Canada (NYSE:UBER) whereby cannabis consumers will be able to use the Uber Eats app to order products before they visit stores.

While the app won't let consumers get cannabis delivered to them, this new method opens the doors to more dynamic ways of buying cannabis.

"As a market leader in innovation and a platform used by so many Canadians, we believe this is the ideal next offering that can be done safely and conveniently on the Uber Eats app," Mark Hillard, vice president of operations with Tokyo Smoke, said in a press release.

A report from the Canadian Press indicates Ontario is considering allowing dispensaries to have delivery and pickup options made available to consumers permanently. The province allowed some of these purchasing options at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but then removed them.

Lola Kassim, general manager of Uber Eats Canada, said this new end-to-end experience will provide consumers with responsible access to legal cannabis products.

Cannabis company news

  • Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSX:OGI) issued financial results for its Q4 2021 period. In its report, the company notes a net loss of C$26 million despite a 22 percent uptick in net revenue to C$24.9 million. Beena Goldenberg, the newly appointed CEO of the firm, is encouraged by the market share position earned by the company, which said it became the fourth biggest producer in Canada during the reporting period.
  • Halo Collective (NEO:HALO,OTCQB:HCANF) confirmed the decision for Akanda, its spinoff company focused on international cannabis opportunities, to begin trading on a US exchange. "The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined," the company told investors in a press release.
  • High Tide (NASDAQ:HITI,TSXV:HITI) announced the acquisition of 80 percent of NuLeaf Naturals, a CBD product wellness developer, for an estimated US$31.24 million. The deal includes a three year option clause for High Tide to complete a total acquisition. "As international markets open up and as export regulations evolve, NuLeaf's cGMP-certified facility positions us to take advantage of the global CBD business opportunity," Raj Grover, president and CEO of High Tide, said.
  • Humble & Fume (CSE:HMBL,OTC Pink:HUMBF) released the financial report for its first 2022 fiscal quarter to shareholders and the market. "As the legal cannabis market in North America continues to mature, Humble remains agile and focused on providing a leading solution for brands to scale quickly and retailers to focus on their customers," Joel Toguri, CEO of Humble, said.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

MARKETS

Markets
TSX21125.90-487.28
TSXV944.05-31.53
DOW34899.34-905.04
S&P 5004594.62-106.84
NASD15491.66-353.57
ASX7279.30-128.00

COMMODITIES

Commodities
Gold1792.600.00
Silver23.130.00
Copper4.29-0.18
Palladium1751.490.00
Platinum955.500.00
Oil68.17-10.22
Heating Oil2.09-0.29
Natural Gas5.49+0.43

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