Nickel Prices Retreat After Advancing on Indonesian Policy

Similar to the equities markets, prices for base metals started the New Year on a slightly downward trend. According to the E&MJ Prices Index, aluminum lost about $100 per metric ton (mt) or about 6% during January. Copper declined 5% or $340/mt. Lead, nickel, tin and zinc were down $35/mt (2%), $75/mt (1%), $290/mt (1%) and $120/mt (6%), respectively.

Put another way, during January, aluminum dropped from $0.79/lb to $0.75/lb; copper declined from $3.38/lb to $3.23/lb; lead slipped from $1.01/lb to $0.95/lb; nickel dipped from $6.32/lb to $6.29/lb; tin settled from $10.22/lb to $10.09/lb; and zinc slid from $0.95/lb to $0.89/lb.

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CSM to Assist Malaysian Tin Miners 

The Camborne School of Mines (CSM) will play a pivotal role in an international collaboration aimed at reviving and stimulating the tin mining industry in Malaysia’s second largest state. During December, the university signed a technical cooperation agreement with key representatives from the Malaysian state of Perak, at a special ceremony in Hertfordshire. 

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Progress in Tin Production

The Indonesia Tin Forum hosted by ITRI in Pankalpinang, Bangka, during December attracted more than 100 delegates to hear about and discuss issues currently facing the Indonesian tin sector, such as changing export regulations, and international market concern over environmental and social sustainability. 

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Platinum Demand will Likely Exceed Supply in 2014

The deficit in the platinum market is forecast to increase in 2013 to 605,000 oz, from 340,000 oz in 2012, according to Johnson Matthey in Platinum 2013 Interim Review. Supplies of platinum will rise by 1.6% to 5.74 million oz, with higher output from Zimbabwe accounting for most of the gains. Strong offtake by industrial users and investors will lift gross platinum demand by 4.9% to 8.42 million oz. Recycling of platinum will grow slightly to 2.08 million oz.

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