Ramp Metals (TSXV:RAMP)

Ramp Metals: Battery Metals Exploration Company Focused on Mining Assets in Saskatchewan

Ramp Metals (TSXV:RAMP) specializes in battery and base metals, particularly nickel and lithium with three properties, two situated in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada, and one in Nevada, United States. The company's Rottenstone SW Claims is situated along a geological structure that historically yielded the highest-grade nickel and platinum group elements (PGE) in Canada. Rottenstone exhibits similarities to the Nova-Bollinger nickel-copper mine in Western Australia, which was discovered by Sirius Resources and ultimately sold to IGO Limited for AU$1.8 billion. The Nova-Bollinger mine had an estimated resource of 13.1 million tons (Mt) grading 2 percent nickel, 0.8 percent copper, and 0.07 percent cobalt.

Ramp Metals' fully permitted drill program in 2024 consists of four drilling locations with eight holes. The current drill program is focused on testing two of these targets. The first target is positioned at the anomaly within the center of the claims and falls within the "Rottenstone Eye" structure. The second target is an anomaly located outside the eye structure, approximately 3 kilometers east-southeast from the first location. To date, Ramp has successfully drilled four holes for a total of 1,180 meters.

Rottenstone SW Claims

The striking similarity between Rottenstone and Nova-Bollinger mine is encouraging and the appointment of Dr. Mark Bennett, the discoverer of the Nova-Bollinger deposit, as a strategic advisor, reinforces Ramp’s belief in the potential of the Rottenstone property. Bennett has over three decades of experience in establishing mines, and played a key role in multiple discoveries, such as the Wahgnion gold mine, the Thunderbox gold mine, and the Waterloo nickel mine, in addition to the Nova-Bollinger nickel-copper mine. Along with Bennett, Ramp Metals has also appointed leading geologist Scott McLean, a 35-year veteran in the mining industry, as its strategic advisor.

Company Highlights

  • Ramp Metals is a battery and base metals exploration company with a focus on exploring high-grade nickel-copper-PGE in Northern Saskatchewan. Ramp intends to uncover the next major discovery essential for driving the green technology movement.
  • The company has three properties covering a total area of 20,000 hectares. Of these, two are located in Northern Saskatchewan – Rottenstone SW Claims and Peter Lake Domain (PLD). The third property is located in Nye County, Nevada.
  • The company’s flagship project Rottenstone SW property is situated adjacent to a northeast-southwest geological formation connected to the renowned Rottenstone Mine. This mine yielded 40,000 tons of high-grade nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGE) and gold ore, with grades averaging 3.28 percent nickel, 1.83 copper, and 9.63 grams per ton platinum-palladium-gold.
  • The geophysical program at Rottenstone highlights striking similarities with the Nova-Bollinger mine in Australia owned by Sirius Resources, which was eventually sold for AU$1.8 billion.
  • Dr. Mark Bennett, founder of Sirius Resources who oversaw the development of the Nova-Bollinger mine, is a strategic advisor to Ramp Metals.

This Ramp Metals profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*

Click here to connect with Ramp Metals (TSXV:RAMP) to receive an Investor Presentation

Ramp Metals

Ramp Metals Investor Kit

  • Corporate info
  • Insights
  • Growth strategies
  • Upcoming projects


The Conversation (0)
Ramp Metals (TSXV:RAMP)

Ramp Metals

Keep reading...Show less
Ramp Metals Inc.  Opens the Market

Ramp Metals Inc. Opens the Market

Jordan Black Chief Executive Officer and Director, Ramp Metals Inc. (TSXV: RAMP) ("Ramp Metals" or the "Company"), and his team joined Omar Khafagy Manager, Corporate Access, Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), to open the market and celebrate the Company's listing to TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV).

Ramp Metals is a battery and base metal exploration company with two flagship properties located in northern Saskatchewan and one property in Nye County, Nevada .

Cision View original content to download multimedia: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ramp-metals-inc-tsxv-ramp-opens-the-market-302127855.html

SOURCE Toronto Stock Exchange

Cision View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2024/25/c9697.html

News Provided by Canada Newswire via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less
Ramp Metals Completes Drill Program and Acquires 100% Ownership in Rottenstone SW and PLD Properties

Ramp Metals Completes Drill Program and Acquires 100% Ownership in Rottenstone SW and PLD Properties

Ramp Metals Inc. (TSXV: RAMP) ("Ramp Metals" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that the Company has successfully completed a 2024 drill program at its Rottenstone SW project and acquired a 100% interest in both the Rottenstone SW and PLD property pursuant to the Company's option agreement with Rottenstone Resources Ltd. dated March 16, 2022.


News Provided by Newsfile via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less
Ramp Metals Provides Exploration Update and Announces Drilling Campaign

Ramp Metals Provides Exploration Update and Announces Drilling Campaign

Ramp Metals Inc. (TSXV: RAMP) ("Ramp Metals" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on the Company's exploration activities, including a drilling program at its flagship Rottenstone SW property.

Key Highlights

News Provided by Newsfile via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less
Ramp Metals Inc. Announces Closing of Qualifying Transaction and Anticipated Trading Date Under the Symbol "RAMP"

Ramp Metals Inc. Announces Closing of Qualifying Transaction and Anticipated Trading Date Under the Symbol "RAMP"

Ramp Metals Inc. (TSXV: AAC.P) (formerly Anacott Acquisition Corporation) (the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has closed its previously announced reverse-takeover transaction (the "Transaction") pursuant to a merger agreement (the "Merger Agreement") dated effective July 28, 2023, between the Company (formerly Anacott Acquisition Corporation), Ramp Metals Inc. ("Ramp") and 1429494 B.C. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company (together, the "Parties").

The Transaction

News Provided by Newsfile via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less
Pivotal Metals

First Assays Confirm Thick Copper Zone and Significant By-Products at Horden Lake

Pivotal Metals Limited (ASX:PVT) (‘Pivotal’ or the ‘Company’) is pleased to provide the first assay results from the first 2 of 34 diamond drill holes completed at its 100% owned Horden Lake Project in Quebec, Canada.

Keep reading...Show less
Ramp Metals (TSXV:RAMP)

Ramp Metals Announces Proposed Debt Settlements

Ramp Metals Inc. (TSXV:RAMP) ("Ramp Metals" or the "Company") announces that the Company intends to settle outstanding accounts payable in the aggregate amount of $131,476.90 (collectively, the "Debt") owing to certain creditors through the issuance of 730,424 common shares in the capital of Ramp (collectively, the "Settlement Shares") at a deemed price of $0.18 per Settlement Share (the "Transaction").

No new Control Person (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange (the "TSXV")) will be created pursuant to the Transaction; however, two non-arm's length parties are expected to receive a total of 62,500 Settlement Shares upon the settlement of $11,250 worth of the Debt. The issuance of those Settlement Shares constitutes a "related party transaction" as that term is defined in Multilateral Instrument 61-101 Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions ("MI 61-101"). The Company is relying on exemptions from the formal valuation and minority approval requirements under MI 61-101, and in particular, Sections 5.5(a) and 5.7(1)(a) of MI 61-101, as neither the fair market value of the subject matter of, nor the fair market value of the consideration for, the transaction, insofar as it involves those parties, exceeds 25% of the Company's market capitalization.

Keep reading...Show less
Nordic Nickel

March 2024 Quarterly Report

Updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the Hotinvaara Prospect establishes the Pulju Project as a globally significant nickel sulphide district; Base of Till drilling program commences at the recently granted Holtinvaara Exploration Licence.

Nordic Nickel Limited’s (“Nordic Nickel” or “the Company”) (ASX: NNL) flagship 100%-owned Pulju Nickel Project is located in the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt (CLGB), 50km north of Kittilä in Finland, with access to world-class infrastructure, grid power, a national highway, international airport and, importantly, Europe’s only two nickel smelters.

Keep reading...Show less
Blackstone Minerals

Quarterly Activities/Appendix 5B Cash Flow Report

Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX: BSX) (“Blackstone” or the “Company”), Yulho Co. Ltd (“Yulho”) and EN Plus Co. Ltd (“EN Plus”) (together, “the Parties”), have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to explore one or more strategic Joint Ventures (“JV”).

Keep reading...Show less
Rolls of galvanized steel sheet inside a factory or warehouse.

Top 9 Nickel-producing Countries (Updated 2024)

Stainless steel accounts for the vast majority of nickel demand, but electric vehicle (EV) batteries represent a growing application for the base metal as the shift toward a greener future gains steam.

But while nickel's long-term outlook appears bright, it may face headwinds in the short term. After a tough 2023, experts are projecting a surplus this year as weak usage coincides with strong output from top producer Indonesia.

What other dynamics are affecting nickel supply? If you're interested in getting exposure to the market, you should be aware of the factors at play. To get you started, here's a look at the top nickel-producing countries.

Keep reading...Show less
Nickel Investor Report

Nickel Investor Report

2024 Nickel Outlook Report

Five times the amount of nickel will be needed to meet global demand by 2050. Don't miss out on investing in a metal that is crucial to the EV revolution!

The Investing News Network spoke with analysts, market watchers and insiders to get the scoop on the trends and stocks that you need to watch to stay ahead of the markets in 2024.

Table of Contents:

  • Nickel Price 2023 Year-End Review
  • Nickel Price Forecast: Top Trends That Will Impact Nickel in 2024
  • Nickel Price Update: Q1 2024 in Review
  • Top 3 Canadian Nickel Stocks
Nickel Outlook

A Sneak Peek At What The Insiders Are Saying

“Global nickel consumption is expected to increase due to recovery of the stainless steel sector and increased usage of nickel in EV batteries. Batteries now account for almost 17 percent of total nickel demand, behind stainless steel."

— Ewa Manthey, ING

"While LME nickel prices are expected to find support from a weaker US dollar in 2024 as the Federal Reserve eases monetary policy, we expect prices to remain subdued as further primary nickel output growth from Indonesia and China keeps the market in a surplus for the third consecutive year."

— Jason Sappor, S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Who We Are

The Investing News Network is a growing network of authoritative publications delivering independent, unbiased news and education for investors. We deliver knowledgeable, carefully curated coverage of a variety of markets including gold, cannabis, biotech and many others. This means you read nothing but the best from the entire world of investing advice, and never have to waste your valuable time doing hours, days or weeks of research yourself.

At the same time, not a single word of the content we choose for you is paid for by any company or investment advisor: We choose our content based solely on its informational and educational value to you, the investor.

So if you are looking for a way to diversify your portfolio amidst political and financial instability, this is the place to start. Right now.

Nickel and the Battery Boom in 2024

Nickel Price 2023 Year-End Review

Nickel soared to its highest price ever in 2022, breaking through US$100,000 per metric ton (MT).

2023 was a different story. As governments worked to combat inflation and investors faced considerable uncertainty, commodities saw a great deal of volatility. Nickel was no exception, especially in the first half of the year.

Ultimately the base metal couldn't hold onto 2022's momentum and has spent the last 12 months trending downward. Read on to learn what trends impacted the nickel sector in 2023, moving supply, demand and pricing.

How did nickel perform in 2023?

Nickel price from January 2, 2023, to December 29, 2023.

Nickel price from January 2, 2023, to December 29, 2023.

Chart via Trading Economics.

Nickel opened 2023 at US$31,238.53 on January 2, riding on the back of momentum that started in Q4 2022, and flirted with the US$31,000 mark again on January 30. As January closed, the metal began to retreat, and by March 22 nickel had reached a quarterly low of US$22,499.53. It made slight gains in April and May, but spent the rest of the year in decline, reaching a yearly low of US$15,843 on November 26. In the final month of the year, the nickel price largely fluctuated between US$16,000 and US$17,000 before closing the year at US$16,375, much lower than where it started.

Despite nickel's return to normal price levels, 2022's rise to more than US$100,000 made more headlines this past year. The substantial increase came after a short squeeze, and the London Metal Exchange (LME) was criticized by some market participants for halting trading and canceling US$12 billion in contracts.

In June 2023, Jane Street Global Trading and hedge fund Elliott Associates filed a lawsuit for US$472 million in compensation for the canceled trades, stating that the LME acted unlawfully. However, judgment came down in favor of the LME on November 29. Elliott Associates has been granted permission to appeal the decision, which it intends to do.

Indonesian supply growth weighs on nickel price

At the end of 2022, analysts were predicting that nickel would enter oversupply territory due to increased production, primarily from Indonesia and China. Speaking to the Investing News Network (INN) at the time, Ewa Manthy of ING commented, "We believe rising output in Indonesia will pressure nickel prices next year."

This prediction came true — production surpluses continued to be a theme in 2023, weighing on prices.

Indonesia continued its aggressive increase in nickel production, more than doubling the 771,000 MT it produced in 2020. A forecast from an Indonesian government official in early December indicates the country is on track to reach production in the 1.65 million to 1.75 million MT range, further adding to a growing supply glut.

In an email to INN, Jason Sappor of S&P Global Commodity Insights said nickel was the worst-performing metal in 2023 due to expanding supply. “We consequently expect the global primary nickel market surplus to expand to 221,000 MT in 2023. This would be the largest global primary nickel market surplus in 10 years, according to our estimates,” he said.

The reason for Indonesia's higher output in recent years is that the country has been working to gain greater value through the production chain, and in 2020 strictly regulated export of raw nickel ore. This decision forced refining and smelting initiatives in the country to ramp up rapidly and brought in foreign investment.

In H2, Indonesia's attempts to combat illegal mining led to delays in its mining output quota application system. While the country originally said it would begin to process applications again in 2024, lack of supply forced steel producers to purchase nickel ore from the Philippines to meet demand, and Indonesia ultimately issued temporary quotas for Q4.

Nickel demand hampered by weak Chinese recovery

Supply is only part of the problem for nickel. Coming into 2023, Manthy suggested demand would be impacted by China’s zero-COVID policy, which had been affecting the country's real estate sector. “China’s relaxation of its COVID policy would have a significant effect on the steel market, and by extension on the nickel market,” she said.

This idea was echoed by analysts at FocusEconomics, who noted, “The resilience of the Chinese economy and the country’s handling of new COVID-19 outbreaks are key factors to watch.”

While China ended its zero-COVID policy in December 2022, the year that followed was less than ideal for the country, with sharp declines in real estate sales and two major developers seeing continued troubles. In August, China Evergrande Group (HKEX:3333) filed for bankruptcy in the US, and at the end of October, Country Garden Holdings (OTC Pink:CTRYF,HKEX:2007) defaulted on its debt. Because the Chinese real estate sector is a major driver of steel demand, this has had a dramatic impact on nickel and is one of the primary causes for its price retreat.

There have also been wider implications for the Chinese economy. Deflation has been triggered in the country as its outsized property sector implodes, with downstream effects for the more than 50 million people employed in the construction industry. Some, including the International Monetary Fund and Japanese officials, have compared the situation in China to Japan in the 1990s, when that country’s housing bubble burst and created economic turmoil.

With uncertainty rife, China’s central bank still isn’t ready to begin cuts on its key five year loan prime interest rate, but it has been working to improve market liquidity to stimulate real estate sector growth. In aid of that, it cut the reserve requirement ratio by 25 basis points twice in 2023, lowering the amount of cash reserves banks have to keep on hand.

So far, these stimulus efforts haven’t had much effect on the real estate market, and its continued struggles have ensured that commodities attached to the sector, including nickel, are still trading at depressed prices. China has vowed to continue to work on its fiscal policy by removing purchasing restrictions on home buying and providing better access to funding for real estate developers.

EVs not boosting nickel price just yet

Nickel is one of many metals that has been labeled as critical to the transition to a low-carbon future. It’s essential as a cathode in the production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and when INN spoke to Rodney Hooper of RK Equity at the end of 2022, he noted that people were initially quite conservative on their estimates of EV sales.

However, that's now begun to change. “That’s all turned on its head now. EVs represent a big percentage of nickel demand, and they will continue to rise going forward," Hooper explained at the time.

While the EV outlook remains bright, the sector hasn’t grown fast enough to make up for declining steel sector demand for nickel. And with limited charging infrastructure, range concerns and the effects of higher-for-longer interest rates, EV sales slowed in 2023. The slowdown is welcome news for battery makers as it will allow them time to build out factories and further develop technology, but it’s not good for investors and producers of nickel looking for pricing gains.

Investor takeaway

2023 wasn’t a great year for nickel. It faced increasing supply against lowered demand from both the Chinese real estate sector and slower EV sales. The rebound in the Chinese economy that was hoped for after COVID-19 restrictions were removed never occurred, and instead it has regressed further, pushing into deflationary territory.

Nickel investors may feel a little stung at the close of the year, especially as uncertainty in the market persists.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Dean Belder, 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.

Additional information on Nickel stocks investing — FREE

Nickel Price Forecast: Top Trends That Will Impact Nickel in 2024

Nickel started 2023 high after a rally at the end of 2022, but supply and demand pressures saw the base metal's price decline throughout the year to close nearly 50 percent lower at US$16,375 per metric ton (MT).

Production has increased rapidly in recent years, and oversupply played a big role in nickel's 2023 price dynamics. Indonesia in particular has ramped up its output and now accounts for more than 50 percent of global nickel supply.

Excess supply was compounded by weak demand out of China, which has continued to struggle since ending its zero-COVID policy in January. China's central bank is now working to stimulate the economy to prevent runaway deflation.

What does 2024 have in store for nickel? The Investing News Network (INN) spoke to experts about what could happen to the metal in the next year in terms of supply, demand and price. Read on to learn their thoughts.

Experts call for another nickel surplus in 2024

Nickel is coming into the year with a holdover surplus from 2023. This glut has mainly come from an increase in Class 2, lower-purity nickel produced in Indonesia, but it's also been driven by an increase in the production of Class 1, higher-purity product from China. The former category, which includes nickel pig iron and ferronickel, is used in products such as steel, while the latter is necessary to create nickel sulfate and nickel cathodes for electric vehicles (EVs).

Against that backdrop of higher supply, both nickel products have also faced decreased demand.

The resulting oversupply concerns have been reflected in core metals markets, and Ewa Manthey, commodities strategist at ING, told INN that nickel has the largest short position of the six London Metal Exchange (LME) base metals.

“This buildup is making nickel vulnerable to violent price spikes should inventors unwind their short positions,” she said. This type of situation occurred in 2022, when the nickel price catapulted rapidly to over US$100,000 before the exchange canceled billions of dollars in trades and suspended nickel trading. The LME’s approach to the situation has been criticized, but was recently ruled lawful by London’s High Court of Justice.

The International Nickel Study Group (INSG), an intergovernmental body consisting of government and industry representatives, met in October to discuss the current state and outlook for the nickel market.

At the time, the group forecast that surplus conditions would continue into 2024, with oversupply reaching 239,000 MT on the back of increases in nickel pig iron output from Indonesia. Meanwhile, decreases in nickel pig iron production from China are expected to be offset by increases in nickel cathode and nickel sulfate production.

Even though the INSG expects demand to grow from 3.195 million MT in 2023 to 3.474 million MT in 2024, production is still anticipated to be higher, rising from from 3.417 million MT in 2023 to 3.713 million MT in 2024.

Chinese recovery needed to buoy nickel price

At the outset of 2023, experts thought Chinese demand for nickel would increase as the country ended its strict zero-COVID policy. China's construction industry is a key consumer of nickel, which is used to make stainless steel.

However, the recovery was slower than predicted, and demand from the real estate sector never materialized.

“China’s flagging recovery following COVID lockdowns has hurt the country’s construction sector and has weighed on demand for nickel this year,” Manthey explained to INN.

While the lack of recovery in China’s real estate sector negatively impacted nickel demand and pricing through 2023, according to Fitch Ratings’ China Property Developers Outlook 2024, the country has been targeting construction and development policy in higher-tier cities and injecting liquidity in the market. This has largely been a balancing act as it tries to stem deflation in its market and battles with inflation globally.

If China's efforts to provide real estate sector support are successful that could be a boon for the nickel price. But as 2024 begins, more economists are forecasting a continued downtrend in the Chinese economy.

Even so, the INSG's October forecast indicated that demand for stainless steel was set to grow in the second half of 2023, and the group was calling for further growth in 2024.

EV demand for nickel rising slowly but surely

While the Chinese real estate market is a key factor in nickel demand, it's not the only one.

The expanding EV sector is also a growing purchaser of nickel. “Global nickel consumption is expected to increase due to recovery of the stainless steel sector and increased usage of nickel in EV batteries,” Manthey said. “Batteries now account for almost 17 percent of total nickel demand, behind stainless steel.”

As a cathode material in EV batteries, nickel has become a critical component in the transition away from fossil fuels, which the expert anticipates will help its price in the future.

“The metal’s appeal to investors as a key green metal will support higher prices in the longer term,” she said.

While demand for battery-grade nickel is predicted to grow over the next few years as the metal is used in the prolific nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathodes, manufacturers and scientists have been working to find alternatives that don’t rely on nickel and cobalt due to environmental and human rights concerns, as well as the high costs of these cathodes.

Lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries have become a contender in recent years, growing in popularity in Asia and seeing uptake from major EV producers like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), owing to their longer lifespans and lower production costs. However, because of their lower range, LFP batteries have low demand in regions such as North America, where the ability to drive long distances is an important factor in purchase decisions.

This means that for now, NMC batteries will remain an essential part of the EV landscape.

EV demand has also declined recently as the industry faces headwinds that have soured consumer interest, including charging infrastructure shortfalls, inconsistent supply chains and elevated interest rates. These factors are already starting to have an impact, with Ford (NYSE:F) and GM (NYSE:GM), among others, cutting production forecasts for 2024.

What will happen to the nickel price in 2024?

Following its near 50 percent drop in 2023, the nickel price is expected to be rangebound for most of 2024.

“While LME nickel prices are expected to find support from a weaker US dollar in 2024 as the Fed eases monetary policy, we expect prices to remain subdued next year as further primary nickel output growth from Indonesia and China keeps the market in a surplus for the third consecutive year,” said Jason Sappor of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Manthey agreed that the price is likely to stay flat. “We see prices averaging US$16,600 in Q1, with prices gradually moving up to average US$17,000. We forecast an average of US$16,813 in 2024,” she said. Manthey also noted that nickel is set to remain elevated compared to average levels before the short squeeze in March 2022.

Sappor suggested that the nickel surplus and the metal's rangebound price may prompt producers to reduce their output. “Nickel prices have sunk deeper into the global production cost curve, raising the possibility that the market could be hit by price-supportive mine supply curtailments,” he said.

At this time there is no indication that producers will ease production next year, and Vale (NYSE:VALE), one of the world’s top nickel miners, is expecting its Indonesian subsidiary to produce slightly more versus 2023.

Investor takeaway

Much like the rest of the mining industry, nickel is being affected by broad macroeconomic forces in the post-COVID era. Higher interest rates are stymying investment across the mining industry, while also lowering demand for big-ticket items like real estate and cars, which help to drive demand for metals.

For nickel, this means another year of oversupply. A potential rebound in the Chinese real estate market and increased demand from upfront tax credits for EVs could shift its trajectory, but the headwinds in 2024 look to be strong.

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

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

Editorial Disclosure: Blackstone Minerals, Falcon Gold and FPX Nickel are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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.

Additional information on Nickel stocks investing — FREE

Nickel Price Update: Q1 2024 in Review

After a difficult 2023, Q1 saw a variety of factors affect the nickel price, including supply cuts from western producers.

At the start of the year, experts were predicting that nickel prices would be rangebound in 2024.

With the first quarter in the books, that story seems to largely be playing out. After opening the year at US$16,600 per metric ton (MT) on January 2, nickel was stable during January and February. However, March brought volatility to the sector, with strong gains pushing the base metal to a quarterly high of US$18,165 on March 13.

Nickel's price rise failed to hold, and it once again dropped below the US$17,000 mark by the end of the month. Ultimately, the metal fell to US$16,565 on March 28, resulting in a slight loss for the quarter.

Indonesian supply dampens nickel prices

Lackluster pricing in the nickel market is largely the result of the metal's ongoing oversupply position.

The largest factor is elevated production from Indonesia, which is the top producer of the metal by far. The country produced 1.8 million MT of nickel in 2023, according to the US Geological Survey, representing half of global supply.

Indonesia's output has climbed exponentially over the past decade, and has been exacerbated by government initiatives that placed strict limits on the export of raw materials to encourage investment in production and refinement.

In an email to the Investing News Network (INN), Exploration Insights Editor Joe Mazumdar wrote, “The growth in electric vehicle (EV) production and the escalating demand for nickel in batteries prompted the Indonesian government to mandate increased local refining and manufacturing capacity from companies operating in the country.”

Despite the lower quality of material coming from Indonesia, the investment was made to shore up supply lines for Chinese battery makers and was earmarked for EV production. However, EV demand has waned through 2023 and into 2024 due to high interest rates, range anxiety and charging capacity, increasing nickel stockpiles.

A report on the nickel market provided by Jason Sappor, senior analyst with the metals and mining research team at S&P Global Commodity Insights, shows that short positions began to accumulate through February and early March on speculation that Indonesian producers were cutting operating rates due to a lack of raw material from mines.

The lack of mined nickel, which helped push prices up, was caused by delays from a new government approval process for mining output quotas that was implemented by Indonesia in September 2023. The new system will allow mining companies to apply for approvals every three years instead of every year. However, the implementation has been slow, and faced further delays while the country went through general elections.

The nickel market found additional support on speculation that the US government was eyeing sanctions on nickel supply out of Russia. Base metals were ultimately not included in the late February sanctions, and prices for the metal began to decline through the end of March as Indonesian quota approvals accelerated.

Western nickel producers cut output on low prices

According to Macquarie Capital data provided by Mazumdar, 35 percent of nickel production is unprofitable at prices below US$18,000, with that number jumping to 75 percent at the US$15,000 level.

Mazumdar indicated that nickel pricing challenges have led to cuts from Australian producers like First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM,OTC Pink:FQVLF) and Wyloo Metals, which both announced the suspension of their respective Ravensthorpe and Kambalda nickel-mining operations. Additionally, major Australian nickel producer BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BHP) is considering cuts of its own.

Nickel price, Q1 2024.

Nickel price, Q1 2024.

Chart via the London Metal Exchange.

Meanwhile, the nickel industry in French territory New Caledonia is facing severe difficulties due to faltering prices.

The French government has been in talks with Glencore (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF), Eramet (EPA:ERA) and raw materials trader Trafigura, which have significant stakes in nickel producers in the country, and has offered a 200 million euro bailout package for the nation's nickel industry. The French government set a March 28 deadline for New Caledonia to agree to its rescue package, but a decision had not yet been reached as of April 11.

Earlier this year, Glencore announced plans to shutter and search for a buyer for its New Caledonia-based Koniambo Nickel operation, which it said has yet to turn a profit and is unsustainable even with government assistance.

For its part, Trafigura has declined to contribute bailout capital for its 19 percent stake in Prony Resources Nouvelle-Caledonie and its Goro mine in the territory, which is forcing Prony to find a new investor before it will be able to secure government funding. On April 10, Eramet reached its own deal with France for its subsidiary SLN’s nickel operations in New Caledonia; the transaction will see the company extend financial guarantees to SLN.

The situation has exacerbated tensions over New Caledonia's independence from France, with opponents of the agreement arguing it risks the territory's sovereignty and that the mining companies aren’t contributing enough to bailing out the mines, which employ thousands. Reports on April 10 indicate that protests have turned violent.

While cuts from Australian and New Caledonian miners aren’t expected to shift the market away from its surplus position, Mazumdar expects it will help to maintain some price stability in the market.

“The most recent forecast projects demand (7 percent CAGR) will grow at a slower pace than supply (8 percent CAGR) over the next several years, which should generate more market surpluses,” he said.

Miners seek "green nickel" premium for western products

In an email to INN, Ewa Manthey, commodities strategist at financial services provider ING, suggested western nickel producers are in a challenging position, even as they make cuts to production.

“The recent supply curtailments also limit the supply alternatives to the dominance of Indonesia, where the majority of production is backed by Chinese investment. This comes at a time when the US and the EU are looking to reduce their dependence on third countries to access critical raw materials, including nickel,” she said.

This was affirmed by Mazumdar, who said the US is working to combat the situation through a series of subsidies designed to encourage western producers and aid in the development of new critical minerals projects.

“The US Inflation Reduction Act promotes via subsidies sourcing of critical minerals and EV parts from countries with which it has a free trade agreement or a bilateral agreement. Indonesia and China do not have free trade agreements with the US,” he said. Mazumdar went on to suggest that the biggest benefactors of this plan will be Australia and Canada, but noted that with prices remaining depressed, multibillion-dollar projects will struggle to get off the ground.

Western producer shope their material may eventually see a "green nickel" premium that plays into their focus on ESG. However, this idea hasn’t gained much traction. The London Metal Exchange (LME) believes the green nickel market is too small to warrant its own futures contract, and Mazumdar said much the same. “There is little evidence that a premium for ‘green nickel’ producers or developers has much momentum, although an operation with low carbon emissions may have a better chance of getting funding from institutional investors in western countries,” he noted.

Even though there might not be much interest in green nickel on the LME, there are vocal proponents, including Wyloo’s CEO, Luca Giacovazzi. He sees the premium as being essential for the industry, and has said participants should be looking for a new marketplace if the LME is unwilling to pursue a separate listing for green nickel.

The calls for a premium have largely come from western producers that incur higher labor and production costs to meet ESG initiatives, which is happening less amongst their counterparts in China, Indonesia and Russia.

Western producers were caught off guard early in March as PT CNGR Ding Xing New Energy, a joint venture between China’s CNGR Advanced Material (SHA:300919) and Indonesia’s Rigqueza International, applied to be listed as a “good delivery brand” on the LME. The designation would allow the company, which produces Class 1 nickel, to be recognized as meeting responsible sourcing guidelines set by the LME.

If it is approved, which is considered likely, the company would be the first Indonesian firm to be represented on the LME. There has been pushback from western miners on the basis of ESG and responsible resourcing challenges.

Investor takeaway

As the nickel market faces strong production from Indonesia, experts expect more of the same for prices.

“Looking ahead, we believe nickel prices are likely to remain under pressure, at least in the near term, amid a weak macro picture and a sustained market surplus,” Manthey said. The continued surplus may provide some opportunities for investors looking to get into a critical minerals play at a lower cost, but a reversal may take some time.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Dean Belder, 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.

Additional information on Nickel stocks investing — FREE

Top 3 Canadian Nickel Stocks

Which Canadian nickel companies are up the most so far in 2024? The Investing News Network looks at the top-gaining nickel stocks this year.

Nickel has been trending down since early 2023, and bearish sentiment still pervades the market in 2024 even though prices for the base metal tacked upward in mid-March and early April.

Supply is expected to outflank demand over the short term, but the longer-term outlook for the metal is strong. Speaking to the Investing News Network (INN), analysts shared their thoughts on the biggest nickel trends to watch for in 2024, and what they think will affect the market moving forward. They discussed factors such as oversupply, weaker-than-expected demand from China and doubts about the London Metal Exchange after it suspended trading last year.

Demand from the electric vehicle industry is one reason nickel's future looks bright further into the future.

“Global nickel consumption is expected to increase due to recovery of the stainless steel sector and increased usage of nickel in electric vehicle batteries. Batteries now account for almost 17 percent of total nickel demand, behind stainless steel," Ewa Manthey, commodities strategist at financial services firm ING, told INN in the lead-up to 2024. “The metal’s appeal to investors as a key green metal will support higher prices in the longer term."

Below INN has listed the top nickel stocks on the TSXV by share price performance so far this year. TSX and CSE stocks were considered, but didn't make the cut. All year-to-date and share price data was obtained on April 3, 2024, using TradingView’s stock screener. The top nickel stocks listed had market caps above C$10 million at that time.

1. EV Nickel (TSXV:EVNI)

Press Releases Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 106.67 percent; market cap: C$38.84 million; current share price: C$0.62

EV Nickel’s primary project is the 30,000 hectare Shaw Dome asset in Ontario. It includes the high-grade W4 deposit, which has a resource of 2 million metric tons at 0.98 percent nickel for 43.3 million pounds of Class 1 nickel across the measured, indicated and inferred categories. Shaw Dome also holds the large-scale CarLang A zone, which has a resource of 1 billion metric tons at 0.24 percent nickel for 5.3 billion pounds of Class 1 nickel across the indicated and inferred categories.

EV Nickel is also working on integrating carbon capture and storage technology for large-scale clean nickel production, and has procured funding from the Canadian government and Ontario's provincial government. In late 2023, the company announced it was moving its carbon capture research and development to the pilot plant stage.

The company's only news so far in 2024 has been the announcement, upsizing and closure of a flow-through financing. Ultimately EV Nickel raised C$5.12 million to fund the development of its high-grade large-scale nickel resources.

The Canadian nickel exploration company's share price started off the year at C$0.30 before steadily climbing to reach a year-to-date high of C$0.73 on March 3.

2. Canada Nickel (TSXV:CNC)

Press Releases Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 15.2 percent; market cap: C$249.55 million; current share price: C$1.44

Canada Nickel Company has honed its efforts on its wholly owned flagship Crawford nickel sulfide project in Ontario’s productive Timmins Mining Camp. A bankable feasibility study for the asset demonstrates a large-scale nickel deposit with a mine life of 41 years, an after-tax net present value of US$2.5 billion and an internal rate of return of 17.1 percent. The company has said it is targeting both the electric vehicle and stainless steel markets.

A few big-name companies hold significant ownership positions in Canada Nickel, including Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX:AEM,NYSE:AEM), which holds an 11 percent stake, and Anglo American (LSE:AAL,OTCQX:AAUKF), which has a 7.6 percent stake. In February of this year, battery and electronic materials manufacturer Samsung SDI (KRX:006400) made an equity investment of US$18.5 million for an 8.7 percent ownership stake in the company.

Canada Nickel’s share price started 2024 at C$1.40 before jumping to a year-to-date high of C$2.24 on January 16.

In early February, the company shared that its wholly owned subsidiary, NetZero Metals, is planning to develop a nickel-processing facility and stainless steel and alloy production facility in the Timmins Nickel District. Canada Nickel’s share price had slid to C$1.35 on February 5 before rising up to C$1.46 on February 9 following the news.

Later in the month, Canada Nickel shared successful results from initial infill drilling at its 100 percent owned Bannockburn property, and announced a new discovery at the Mann property. Mann is a joint venture with Noble Mineral Exploration (TSXV:NOB,OTCQB:NLPXF) in which Canada Nickel can earn an 80 percent interest.

3. Sama Resources (TSXV:SME)

Press Releases Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 10 percent; market cap: C$26.41 million; current share price: C$0.11

Sama Resources’ focus is the Samapleu nickel, copper and platinum-group metals (PGMs) project in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, which includes the Samapleu and Grata deposits. Samapleu is a joint venture between Sama (70 percent) and Ivanhoe Electric (30 percent); Ivanhoe Electric, which is backed by Robert Friedland, recently earned the option to acquire a 60 percent interest in the project with the completion of a new preliminary economic assessment.

In the first few weeks of the year, Sama has already dropped a few press releases. The company shared highlights from its ongoing 3,800 meter winter drilling program at the Yepleu prospect. Importantly, the work has confirmed that newly discovered nickel-copper-PGMs mineralization measures 500 by 400 meters, is near surface and open in all directions. Drill results from the program so far include hole S-349, which intersected 53 meters of combined mineralization layers grading 0.29 percent nickel, including 2.6 meters at 1.31 percent nickel and 0.95 percent copper.

Sama’s share price started off the year at C$0.11 before jumping to a year-to-date high of C$0.14 on February 12.

FAQs for nickel investing

How to invest in nickel?

There are a variety of ways to invest in nickel, but stocks and exchange-traded products are the most common. Nickel-focused companies can be found globally on various exchanges, and through the use of a broker or a service such as an app, investors can purchase companies and products that match their investing outlook.

Before buying a nickel stock, potential investors should take time to research the companies they’re considering; they should also decide how many shares will be purchased, and what price they are willing to pay. With many options on the market, it's critical to complete due diligence before making any investment decisions.

Nickel stocks like those mentioned above could be a good option for investors interested in the space. Experienced investors can also look at nickel futures.

What is nickel used for?

Nickel has a variety of applications. Its main use is an alloy material for products such as stainless steel, and it is also used for plating metals to reduce corrosion. It is used in coins as well, such as the 5 cent nickel in the US and Canada; the US nickel is made up of 25 percent nickel and 75 percent copper, while Canada's nickel has nickel plating that makes up 2 percent of its composition.

Nickel's up-and-coming use is in electric vehicles as a component of certain lithium-ion battery compositions, and it has gotten extra attention because of that purpose.

Where is nickel mined?

The world's top nickel-producing countries are primarily in Asia: Indonesia, the Philippines and New Caledonia make up the top three. Rounding out the top five are Russia and Canada. Indonesia's production stands far ahead of the rest of the pack, with 2023 output of 1.8 million MT compared to the Philippines' 400,000 MT and New Caledonia's 230,000 MT.

Significant nickel miners include Norilsk Nickel (OTC Pink:NILSY,MCX:GMKN), Nickel Asia, BHP Group (NYSE:BHP,ASX:BHP,LSE:BHP) and Glencore (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF).

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

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

Editorial Disclosure: Canada Nickel and Noble Mineral Exploration are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

Additional information on Nickel stocks investing — FREE

Keep reading...Show less
Ramp Metals

Ramp Metals Investor Kit

  • Corporate info
  • Insights
  • Growth strategies
  • Upcoming projects


Latest Press Releases

Related News