Nickel Up Again, Glencore Xstrata Trying to Re-Open Dominican Mine

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Rising nickel prices and projections that the global market’s supply won’t meet the demand during the next few years provide Glencore Xstrata its best opportunity to make a decision about re-opening mining at Loma Miranda in the central Dominican Republic, said David Soares, CEO of Glencore’s Dominican operation, Falcondo, according to Dominican Today.

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“We are in a good moment for the country to seriously contemplate exploiting Loma Miranda,” Soares said, and noted that Morgan Stanley predicts a deficit of nickel during the next five years. He also said it would be “irrational” not to mine nickel at Loma Miranda and take advantage of the volatile raw material’s boom cycle. Loma Miranda’s nickel mining operation was closed in 2013 but Soares said Falcondo believes there is ample supply of the alloying metal in stainless steel still in the ground there.

The 3-month price of nickel closed as the biggest mover for Friday, June 6. Switching from a downward trend, the metal closed at $19,090 per metric ton following a 0.7 percent increase. The cash price of primary Indian nickel saw a 0.7 percent decline to INR 1,133 ($19.16) per kilogram. The nickel spot price rose 0.3 percent on the LME to $19,000 per metric ton after a two-day drop.

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Chinese stainless steel closed mixed last Friday. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat at CNY 8,300 ($1,332) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 145,000 ($23,268) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel weakened by 0.3 percent, settling at CNY 133,550 ($21,431) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge held flat at $1.29 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 26,000 ($4,172) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 16,400 ($2,632) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 16,100 ($2,584) per metric ton.

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