Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: Lead Steals the Show

- June 7th, 2019

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

While a handful of base metals ended their week of trading on a downward note, commodities lead and zinc found themselves on the rise.

Lead was the only base metal to stay on a consistently positive path, starting Monday (June 3) at US$1,790.50 per tonne and hitting US$1,944 by Thursday (June 6) on the London Metal Exchange (LME).

While zinc zigzagged through the week, hitting its weekly low of US$2,604.50 per tonne on Wednesday (June 5), the commodity rebounded to US$2,635 by Thursday.

Though copper had a positive streak through the week, the red metal hit a snag after Wednesday’s weekly high of US$5,832 per tonne and plunged to US$5,804 on Thursday.

Having a rough week across the board was nickel, which saw its highest point on Monday at US$11,855 per tonne and continuously slid downwards to US$11,705 by Thursday.

After a fairly consistent hot streak, iron ore started the week on a slightly subdued note at US$96.28 per tonne on Monday, down from last Friday’s (May 31) close of US$98.76. The commodity managed to regain some strength through the week, but had a nasty tumble on Friday when it slipped 8.43 percent to hit US$90.16 by 2:15 a.m. EDT.

Base metals top news stories

1. Nyrstar Halts Lead Production at Port Pirie: Report

Nyrstar (OTC Pink:NYRSY,EBR:NYR) is in another tricky situation, and has allegedly halted production at its Port Pirie lead smelter and declared force majeure.

According to Reuters, in late May the European zinc smelter stopped output at Port Pirie, located in South Australia, due to an unplanned outage at its blast furnace.

“We are currently in the process of assessing the outage and expect that production should resume within the coming days. There will be a negative impact to Nyrstar’s lead metal production due to the outage,” a company spokesperson told Reuters.

2. Clean TeQ Weighs Sunrise Partnership Options

Australia-based Clean TeQ (ASX:CLQ,TSX:CLQ,OTCQX:CTEQF) has officially announced its partnering plans for its Sunrise nickel-cobaltscandium project in New South Wales.

According to the company, it has received several inquiries from parties within the electric vehicle supply chain regarding project-level ownership, long-term offtakes and other financing agreements.

As such, Clean TeQ has appointed Macquarie Capital to run a partnering process for the company as it considers divesting up to 50 percent of Sunrise in combination with long-term offtakes.

3. Azure to Start Trial Mining, Processing at Oposura

Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) has officially greenlit the start of trial mining and processing at its wholly owned Oposura zinc-lead project in Sonora, Mexico.

Activity is due to begin in 2019’s September quarter, with the initial mine production and processing rate estimated at between 1,500 and 3,000 tonnes per month of mineralized material at an approximate grade of 15 percent. Combined zinc and lead with ore will be processed on a toll treatment basis through a nearby sulfide flotation processing facility.

According to Azure, there is also the possibility of increasing mine production if additional processing capacity becomes available.

Also in the news

In a continued effort to focus on its nickel assets, Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR,OTC Pink:MCRZF) has opted to wind down its Widgiemooltha gold operations. In a statement released Friday (June 7), the company said mining will officially cease at Widgiemooltha by August 1 and that Mincor will be looking to subsequently divest the gold operation.

Also divesting assets in Austrailia is Zenith Minerals (ASX:ZNC), which sold its Mount Alexander magnetite iron project this week. The AU$2.75 million deal was with a private Australian company, Mount Alexander Iron Ore; Zenith stated that funds from the sale will go towards advancing its portfolio as the company focuses on exploration at its Split Rocks lithium project.

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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