Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: Metals Feel the Heat

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.

After starting the week of trading on a relatively high note, most base metals quickly skidded to a halt by mid-week to line up for a week in the red.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) was closed on Monday (May 27) for the spring bank holiday, but metals wasted no time in shooting right out the gate on Tuesday (May 28) to meet their weekly highs.

Starting Tuesday just below the US$6,000 per tonne mark, copper gradually tumbled to US$5,822 by Thursday (May 30). It was a similar story in nickel, which started Tuesday at US$12,230 per tonne and fell to US$11,975 by Thursday.

The lead market saw the least detrimental drop of the base metals this week as it fell from Tuesday’s high of US$1,808 per tonne to US$1,797 by Wednesday (May 29), flatlining its way into Thursday.

Although zinc also hit its weekly low on Wednesday at US$2,679 per tonne, the commodity managed to successfully rebound by Thursday as it bounced to US$2,704.

Growing ever upwards this week was iron ore, which continued a slow but steady trajectory into the green. The commodity closed at US$98.38 per tonne on Tuesday, and by 12:50 p.m. EDT on Thursday had reached US$98.72.

Base metals top news stories

1. Champion Iron to Fully Acquire Bloom Lake Asset for C$211 Million

Through an agreement with the Quebec government, Champion Iron (TSX:CIA,ASX:CIA,OTC Pink:CHPRF) subsidiary Quebec Iron Ore has acquired the remaining 36.8 percent stake in the Bloom Lake mining complex for C$211 million.

Prior to this week, Champion held a majority stake in the Bloom Lake iron ore operation while government agent Ressources Québec retained the other share.

The fresh transaction makes Bloom Lake wholly owned by Champion; the company originally gained a stake in the asset in 2016, when it purchased the interest from Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE:CLF), at the time known as Cliffs Natural Resources, for C$10.5 million.

2. Superior Resources Forms Zinc Joint Venture with South32

Superior Resources (ASX:SPQ) has entered an earn-in and joint venture (JV) agreement with South32 (ASX:S32,OTC Pink:SOUHY) to advance exploration at its wholly owned Nicholson zinc project in Queensland.

The first stage of the JV will see South32 fund an initial AU$2 million, or 4,000 meters, worth of drilling within the first year of operations; funding is set to begin immediately.

The company will have the option to move forward to a second stage by contributing an additional AU$4 million towards exploration efforts within the following four years.

3. Caravel Minerals Reveals Copper Project Scoping Study

Caravel Minerals (ASX:CVV) has unveiled the results of a scoping study for its Caravel copper project, saying it touts a 23 year mine life and a pre-tax net present value of AU$1.05 billion.

The project, located in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region, has a mineral resource that totals 662 million tonnes at 0.28 percent copper for 1.86 million tonnes of contained copper.

The scoping study was based around these numbers.

Production from the mine is set for an initial run of 16 million tonnes of ore per year (Mtpa) for the first five years, which will later ramp up to 30 Mtpa after the sixth year of operations.

Also in the news

Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.B,NYSE:TECK) announced a US$2.5 billion funding agreement to develop the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project in Chile. The borrower under the financing, Compañia Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca, holds the QB2 project and is 60 percent indirectly owned by Teck.

Meanwhile, RNC Minerals (TSX:RNX) released the results of an updated feasibility study for the Dumont nickel-cobalt JV project. Shared with Arpent, a subsidiary of a private equity firm, the asset boasts the second largest nickel reserve in the world at 2.8 million tonnes of contained nickel.

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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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