Sep 9, 2020

Fitch revises upwards its zinc price forecast

Fitch
mining
Zinc
zinc prices
Jonathan Campion
1 min
The research agency Fitch Solutions Macro Research has increased its prognosis for zinc prices, due to the stronger than expected recovery of the Chinese economy
The research agency Fitch Solutions Macro Research has increased its prognosis for zinc, due to the stronger than expected recovery of the Chinese econo...

Fitch had initially forecast the zinc price at $2,100/t, but has revised it upwards to $2,200/t. The agency has explained that this is due to the rapid recovery of Chinese steel production, which will lead to growth in zinc consumption for the rest of this year and into 2021.

Zinc prices are currently at a high for 2020, at $2.483/t. The metal has rallied strongly in recent months, after falling by an average of over 17% in the first three months of the year. 

Despite the more optimistic short-term forecast, Fitch expects the price of zinc to drop steadily in the coming years, eventually reaching $2,000/t in 2024. The agency commented: “We forecast that, after a rebound in 2021, annual steel production growth will steadily slow down in the coming years due to declining capacity increases in China and Europe.

“In China, escalating environmental restrictions on producers and weakening demand growth from the construction sector will cap steel production growth rates, while European producers will cut production in the face of low steel prices.”

Fitch Solutions forecasts that China’s real gross domestic growth will be 2.2% this year, provided that there is no second wave of Covid-19 that results in further lockdown measures.

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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

Vale
Nickel
Manitoba
battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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