Australian Nickel Miners Shrug Off Low Prices

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Australian nickel miners Western Areas and Panoramic Resources have shrugged off the sluggish nickel price with respective pieces of good news, the Australian reported.

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Western Areas flagged a big improvement in its guidance for 2015 and Pan­oramic surged thanks to a new discovery.

Western Areas said production costs at its high-grade Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll mines in Western Australia had fallen to their lowest in 4 years, clearing the way for the company to upgrade its guidance at its half-year result.

Each pound of nickel produced by Western Areas cost the company $2.23, compared with its guidance for the full year of between $2.70 and $2.80 a pound. Panoramic, meanwhile, enjoyed a share price surge after it announced a high-grade nickel discovery to the south of its Lanfranchi nickel mine, also in Western Australia.

The cash price of primary Indian nickel saw a 1.0% drop on Tuesday, January 20, landing at INR 900.30 ($14.60) per kilogram and making it the biggest mover of the day. The nickel spot price is back up, rising by 0.1% on the LME on Tuesday to close at $14,375 per metric ton. After dropping for two days on the LME, the 3-month price of nickel flattened at $14,425.

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Chinese stainless steel closed mixed on Tuesday. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome held steady at CNY 10,950 ($1,761) per metric ton. Chinese ferro-moly stayed flat at around CNY 87,000 ($13,993) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel closed at CNY 108,000 ($17,371) per metric ton. Following a couple days of improvement, the metal’s price weakened by 0.6%. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 23,700 ($3,812) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,700 ($2,686) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 12,950 ($2,083) per metric ton.

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