Nornickel: global palladium deficit to widen in 2021
Nornickel, the world’s largest palladium producer, plans to partly compensate for the deficit from its stockpiles left from 2020, it said in a statement, adding that its Global Palladium Fund could also provide metal if there was a need to do so. Shortages are forecast due to flooding at its mines and an accident at its plant earlier this year.
One of Nornickel’s two underground mines, hit by a sudden inflow of water in February, has already resumed output at full capacity. The second is expected to restart in early June. Its plant, part of which collapsed during maintenance in February, will return to full capacity by October.
Nornickel currently expects a global palladium deficit at 0.9 million troy ounces in 2021, up from 0.3 million ounces in 2020. It previously expected it at 0.2 million ounces this year.
Nornickel will fulfil all its current obligations with clients this year despite the accidents, which will reduce its production, it said.
It updated its view on the nickel market, currently expecting a 2021 surplus at 52,000 tonnes compared to its previous estimate of 90,000 tonnes. It estimates the surplus at more than 100,000 tonnes in 2022, the world’s leading producer of refined nickel said.
Nornickel’s recently published Metals Market Review further details the outlook for palladium:
“The rebound in the automotive industry in the second half of 2020, especially in China, and processing capacities outages in South Africa kept the palladium market in a 0.3Moz deficit in 2020. This year, the experts see an impressive recovery in automotive demand and other industrial applications almost to the pre-COVID levels, although partially subdued by the chip shortage.
“This recovering demand will be met by the rebounding supply from South Africa and other regions as well as recycling. However, the suspension of Nornickel’s concentrator and Oktyabrsky and Taimyrsky mines have widened the expected deficit of current supply vs demand to 0.9Moz in 2021 vs the previous estimate of a balanced market. This deficit will be partially eased by the supply from stocks, including the metal, which was produced but was not sold by Nornickel in 2020, and supply from other stocks accumulated previously.”
People Moves: Peter Cunningham appointed Rio Tinto CFO
Rio Tinto has appointed Peter Cunningham as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with immediate effect. Peter, who has been Interim Chief Financial Officer since 1 January 2021, will also join the Rio Tinto Board as an executive director at the same time.
Peter Cunningham appointed Rio Tinto CFO
Peter Cunningham was previously Group Controller and has held a number of senior financial and non-financial leadership positions across Rio Tinto in Australia and the UK. In a career spanning 28 years with Rio Tinto, he has held roles including Global Head of Health, Safety, Environment & Communities; Head of Energy and Climate Strategy; and Head of Investor Relations.
Prior to joining Rio Tinto, Peter qualified as a chartered accountant.
Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm commented: “I am delighted to confirm Peter in the role and, having worked closely with him for a number of years, I know he is the ideal person to be our Chief Financial Officer. His detailed knowledge of the company and of the financial and non-financial drivers of our industry will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen Rio Tinto.”
Rio Tinto Chairman Simon Thompson added: "I look forward to Peter joining the Rio Tinto Board and know from experience that his deep understanding of Rio Tinto and commitment to disciplined capital allocation will serve shareholders well and enrich our Board discussions.”
Rio Tinto aiming for net zero by 2050
Rio Tinto is aiming to reach net zero emissions across its operations by 2050. Across the company, it is targeting a 15% reduction in absolute emissions and a 30% reduction in emissions intensity by 2030, from a 2018 baseline.
Aluminium is found in everything from cars to phones. But one of the challenges of producing this essential material responsibly is finding ways to decarbonise the process.
Part of the reason is creating alumina – the main ingredient in aluminium – takes a lot of energy, which in turn creates greenhouse gas emissions. New technologies will be essential to helping reduce emissions, but many haven’t been proven. And some not yet even discovered. Rio Tinto is partnering with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)to develop hydrogen energy options and make a positive step towards these goals.