Safety Concerns Lead BHP Billiton to Halt Some Operations at Nickel Mine; 3-Mo Nickel Down

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BHP Billiton announced that the company “would stop operations in the sub-level cave at its Perseverance mine due to safety concerns after a small earthquake at the Western Australian nickel mine in October,” reports Reuters.

“The company said in a statement the move would result in job losses and have a possible impact on nickel production at the mine, located about 500 km (300 miles) from Perth.”

“The decision to halt operations at the Nickel West Leinster Perseverance Underground mine was made following an investigation by experts.”

In metal price news for stainless steel and nickel…

Dropping 0.9 percent on the LME, the 3-month price of nickel was the biggest mover on Monday, December 16, closing at $13,950 per metric ton. On the LME, the spot price of nickel fell 0.7 percent to $13,900 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price inched up 0.5 percent.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome held flat. The price of Chinese ferro-moly continues to hover for the fifth day in a row.

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The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held steady. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil was unchanged. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap saw little movement. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese primary nickel showed little movement yesterday.