First Quantum Shuts Down Australian Nickel Plant

Canada’s First Quantum Minerals has shut its 38,000-tons-per-year Ravensthorpe nickel plant in Australia following an acid spill, which is under investigation, Reuters reported.

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The rupture of a one of several tanks containing sulphuric acid used to leach nickel late on Sunday caused an undetermined amount of the hazardous slurry to spill into a contained area of the plant 550 kilometres (340 miles) southeast of Perth in Western Australia state, company spokesman Dave Coggin said.

The nickel spot price saw a 1.7% drop on the LME on Friday, December 12, landing at $16,145 per metric ton and making it the biggest mover of the day. The nickel 3-month price saw a 1.5% decline on the LME to $16,220 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price is back up, rising by 0.3% last Friday to close at INR 1,030 ($16.48) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel closed mixed last Friday. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat at CNY 10,950 ($1,768) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly was unchanged at CNY 90,000 ($14,532) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel declined 0.9% to CNY 114,300 ($18,456) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge held flat at $0.97 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 23,700 ($3,827) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil held flat at CNY 18,400 ($2,971) per metric ton. Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held its value last Friday at CNY 13,350 ($2,156) per metric ton.

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