Australia-based miner Western Areas said nickel prices have recently gained from the resilient stainless steel production rates and the reduced availability of nickel pig iron feed stock in China.
The company stated in its September quarterly report that nickel rich battery technology is projected to play a large part in the continued evolution of the battery packs for electric vehicles and is also increasing market confidence for nickel in the long-term.
The company produced a total mined ore of 137,280mt in September quarter, down 15pc from the previous quarter. Total nickel mined stood at 4,147mt, down 29pc from June quarter. Total nickel in concentrates was reported at 3,756mt in September quarter, down 27pc from the prior quarter. Total nickel sold in the same quarter was reported at 4,064mt, down 15pc from the preceding quarter.
The company’ flying fox unit production in September quarter almost halved to 1,269mt of nickel, down 46pc from the previous quarter. Spotted Quoll unit mined 2,878mt, a decline of 18pc from June quarter.
Total nickel production was hurt on the back of re-sequencing of the Flying Fox mine schedule into lower grade zones and lower grade at the Spotted Quoll. Lower average head grade impacted total production.
The Company’s average realised nickel price was higher in September quarter at AUS$9.28/lb compared to AUS$8.64/lb in the June quarter.