Category Archives: Metal Marketing

China’s Jinchuan hunts for more Nickel and Cobalt to tap into the Electric Vehicle

BEIJING — Jinchuan Group [JCHRP.UL], China’s top nickel producer, will next year start building a new project in Guangxi that will produce raw materials for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, its chairman said, looking to tap the sector’s “explosive” demand. The project, in the southern port city of Fangchenggang, where Jinchuan already smelts copper and nickel, will have annual production of 30,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,000 tonnes of cobalt by 2020, Wang Yongqian said … Continue reading

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Electric Car Makers Have an Africa Problem

Volkswagen’s recent failure to lock in the price of cobalt for five years points to a serious problem with the optimistic projections of an electric vehicle revolution. These projections are based on gradually declining battery prices, but the scarcity of certain minerals and their concentration in politically unstable countries may interfere with that dynamic. The high price of batteries necessary for a solid EV range is the biggest reason EVs now need government subsidies … Continue reading

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Vale searches for partner to invest in world’s largest Nickel mine

Vale is searching for a partner to invest in one of the world’s biggest nickel mines as part of a push by its new chief executive Fabio Schvartsman to reduce debt and get to grips with underperforming assets. The Brazilian miner is working with Scotiabank to sell a stake in Vale New Caledonia (VNC) on the remote South Pacific island of New Caledonia, according to people familiar with the process. It has held discussions … Continue reading

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BHP’s entry into Nickel sulphate ‘well timed’, Cobalt sulphate may be next

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining major BHP is reviewing the timing of its Stage 2 nickel sulphate plant at the Kwinana refinery, in Western Australia, on the back of high demand. BHP Nickel West asset president Eduard Haegel said on Tuesday that potential customer visits had confirmed that the company’s entry into the nickel sulphate market had been well timed, with interest by customers significantly exceeding expectations. Nickel sulphate is a key component in lithium-ion … Continue reading

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Platts: Graphite electrode shortage could last five years plus

The graphite electrode shortage could last five years or more, investment bank Jefferies said in a report Wednesday after spending time with management of Japanese producer Tokai Carbon. Related podcast: Electrodes, changing trade flows top of mind for many in steel Jefferies said 10% of needle coke output is now being directed to the lithium-ion sector and anode material production requires the same facilities as graphite electrode production. It also said Hurricane Harvey had … Continue reading

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Graphite: Flake prices rising in China on higher demand and environmental closures

Prices for natural flake graphite have risen in recent weeks as the market tightens, with the largest increases seen in grades above 95% C. A new round of processing plant closures has been reported in Shandong, which compounded already existing supply problems in the Province following drought conditions through the summer and limitations on the use of dynamite for mining. As well as affecting battery grades, the closures have resulted in higher prices for … Continue reading

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LME poised to join Electric Car revolution with Cobalt sulphate contract

LONDON (Reuters) – The London Metal Exchange’s new cobalt contract is likely to be for a chemical compound vital for the manufacture of the batteries used in the fast-growing electric vehicle sector, its chief executive Matt Chamberlain told Reuters on Tuesday. Demand for that chemical — cobalt sulphate — is expected to soar over coming years as governments around the world set targets and timelines for electric vehicle sales in a bid to cut … Continue reading

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Reuters: Electric Cars prompt explore Cobalt sulphate index

LONDON (Reuters) – Metals consultancy CRU Group wants to create a price mechanism for cobalt sulphate, in response to increasing demand for the compound used in making rechargeable batteries that power electric cars. Prices for cobalt sulphate are often based on those for refined metal published by Metal Bulletin. The London Metal Exchange’s cobalt contract is also for refined metal. But demand for cobalt sulphate is expected to outpace that for the metal over … Continue reading

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When the sun doesn’t shine: Nickel catalyzes low-cost solution for storing SolarEnergy

How can we store solar energy for period when the sun doesn’t shine? One solution is to convert it into hydrogen through water electrolysis. The idea is to use the electrical current produced by a solar panel to ‘split’ water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Clean hydrogen can then be stored away for future use to produce electricity on demand, or even as a fuel. But this is where things get complicated. Even though … Continue reading

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Outokumpu adds Graphite electrode upcharge to stainless products

Outokumpu is introducing a graphite electrode upcharge for all stainless steel products with immediate effect, the Finnish producer said Wednesday. “The tight supply situation within the graphite electrodes market has led to limited global availability of graphite electrodes and sharp increases in their prices. This has in turn led to significant increase in the production costs of stainless steel,” the company said in a statement. Outokumpu delivered 2.444 million mt of stainless steel products … Continue reading

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