Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: Nickel Price Slides Down

- October 18th, 2019

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

This past week has been a mixed bag for the base metals, with some veering up and others plunging down as Q4 moves forward. 

Copper started the week on a slightly low note, closing Monday (October 14) at US$5,718 per tonne, a 0.76 percent decrease from the previous week. 

That slowdown did not last, however, with copper’s price bouncing back to US$5,726 on Thursday (October 17), a 0.14 percent increase. 

Zinc has been on the rise, starting the week on Monday at US$2,430 per tonne and then closing Thursday at US$2,456, increasing by 1.07 percent over the course of the five day period. 

Nickel took a downturn, closing Monday at US$17,395 per tonne only to finish at US$16,320 three days later. Despite nickel’s success this year, its price has been slowing down since October 10. 

Iron prices also suffered, dropping throughout the week. Iron opened on Monday at US$92.23 per tonne, but closed Thursday at US$90.01. 

Meanwhile, lead has had a great week, with its price on an upswing. Lead prices closed on Monday at US$2,128 per tonne and increased by 2.82 percent to US$2,188 by Thursday’s market close. 

Top base metals news stories

1. Copper Price Update: Q3 2019 in Review

Although copper may not be hitting the highs it did during the summer, analysts project that the future of the red metal will be bright, with the electric vehicle (EV) boom in popularity imminent. 

According to analysts, investors can expect to see copper’s price feel the benefits of electrification in about three to five years as more consumers opt for EVs and more firms build charging stations, all of which require the red metal to function.  

2. Nyrstar to Shut Down Langlois Zinc-Copper Mine

Earlier this week, Swiss miner Nyrstar (OTC Pink:NYRSY,EBR:NYR) announced its plan to cease production at its Langlois mine in December. The company stated that its studies show the mine is “uneconomic,” prompting Nyrstar to shut down zinc and copper extraction at the property. 

Nyrstar has had issues throughout 2019, narrowly avoiding bankruptcy in April before major shareholder Trafigura took control. Since then, other shareholders of the company have begun a lawsuit against Trafigura, asserting that the firm used its influence on Nyrstar to enter unviable commercial deals. 

3. Ecuador Blinks: Government Reverses Fuel Subsidy Cut

On Monday, the Ecuadorian government announced that it has backed down from an International Monetary Fund-backed decision to cut fuel subsidies. 

Ecuador contains many major mining projects, such as SolGold’s (TSX:SOLG,LSE:SOLG,OTC Pink:SLGGF) copper-gold Cascabel (Alpala) project, Luminex Resources’ (TSXV:LR,OTC Pink:LUMIF) gold-silver-copper Condor project and INV Metals’ (TSX:INV) Loma Larga gold project. 

Miners had not yet felt the effects of the protests when the deal was reached, operating as normal despite urban areas shutting down. 

Also in the news:

On Thursday, shares of First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM,OTC Pink:FQVLF) jumped after Pangaea Investment Management, a firm backed by China-based Jiangxi Copper (OTC Pink:JIAXF,HKEX:0358), increased its interest in the Canadian company.

Meanwhile, Atalaya Mining (TSX:AYM,LSE:ATYM) has changed its existing production guidance to 44,000 to 45,000 tonnes compared to the previous 45,000 to 46,500 due to a slight delay in expansion at its Proyecto Riotinto.

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

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

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