First Nickel wouldn’t be planning to invest as much as $900,000 in exploration drilling in 2015 if it didn’t believe its Lockerby, Ont., mine had a future longer than a year or two.
The company made tough decisions in December, bringing in a new vice-president of Sudbury operations, developing a plan to cut expenses and employees, and resuming mining its ramp development between the 6,800-foot level, said FNI Chief Executive Thomas Boehlert.
FNI issued layoff notices to about 25% of its own employees and cut 75% of the contractors it was employing so it could save 130 other jobs at the mine formerly owned by Falconbridge Ltd.
The economics of the market, the low price of nickel and the cost of running the mine forced the company to stop ramp development in 2014. But it decided to resume mining below that level, mining the ore it believes will last until 2016, as it invests in diamond drilling to define and “prove up” other ore bodies at the mine, Boehlert told the Sudbury Star.
The day’s biggest mover was the nickel spot price which dropped by 0.3% on Tuesday, February 24 to close at $13,915 per metric ton on the LME. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel fell 0.2% to $13,980 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price saw little price change yesterday at INR 875.60 ($14.08) per kilogram.
Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 10,950 ($1,750) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 82,000 ($13,104) per metric ton.
The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 23,700 ($3,787) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil held flat at CNY 16,700 ($2,669) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap continues hovering around CNY 13,050 ($2,085) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap was unchanged at CNY 9,450 ($1,510) per metric ton.