In late January I told all my subscribers that its time to watch nickel as Indonesia instituted an export ban cutting off possibly a quarter of global supply. Now six weeks later the nickel price powers through the critical $7 mark and Bloomberg writes an article entitled “Nickel Heads for Bull Market…” Its better to be early, then late. Why is nickel so important and breaking out past $7?
Nickel is used to make stainless steel which is used in a wide variety of industrial and consumer applications. As populations expand and urbanize more stainless steel is required. As emerging economies grow they need more nickel for alloys used in pipelines, jet engines and nuclear power plants. More nuclear plants, pipelines and skyscrapers are being built now than ever before.
Demand for nickel is increasing every year. Indonesia supplies over a quarter of worldwide nickel. Over six weeks ago I wrote, “The announcement that Indonesia has banned exports could have a dramatic effect on supply and cause a reversal in the nickel price which is still more than fifty percent below its all time highs.”
To put this move from Indonesia to ban exports into perspective think of all the OPEC Gulf states ceasing oil production or Chile cutting copper exports. China may be growing nervous. Close to 75% of China’s nickel pig iron supply comes from Indonesia.
Other countries such as Japan, Australia, Canada and the U.S. could be significantly impacted by this rise in resource nationalism in Indonesia. The nickel price should start moving higher very soon. There are very few sources of high grade nickel outside of Indonesia, The Philippines is another option but they are also considering an export ban.
Even though there is still a large amount of nickel in stockpile, experts are predicting that inventories could run out by mid 2015. Enter center stage Royal Nickel’s (RNX.TO or RNKLF) Dumont Nickel Project in mining friendly Quebec, which could begin construction by the end of this year and start production in 2016.
It was recently announced that one of the largest Chinese stainless steel producers Tsingshan is constructing a processing plant that could utilize nickel sulphide concentrate to produce stainless steel. Tsingshan believes that it could be in operation this year and could benefit from Royal Nickel’s Dumont nickel sulphide ore.
Royal Nickel’s CEO Mark Selby stated, “We view Tsingshan’s investment in this pioneering process as a significant and positive development for the nickel sector, and for Royal Nickel.”
Royal Nickel has the management team that knows nickel possibly better than any other junior as they worked for Inco the major nickel miner which was bought out by Vale back in 2007 for a great return for shareholders.
The rise of resource nationalism in Indonesia is nothing new. Nations may have already been planning for the export ban this month by stockpiling. Nevertheless, smart investors should position themselves in top quality assets like Royal Nickel’s Dumont Project as inventories begin to run down low in the second half of this year.
There are very few high quality nickel projects ready to be built like Royal Nickel’s Dumont Project. Before the previous run up in 2006-07 there were plenty of undeveloped projects. This is not the case today.
Royal Nickel owns one of the only mines I know of with a construction ready project, experienced management that specializes in nickel and a strong treasury of close to $15 million. Nickel is one of the few commodities that China needs desperately as they have very little from their own production.
Royal Nickel’s Dumont Project is one of the largest nickel deposits in the world and probably the largest, most advanced and best quality nickel project in control of a junior miner. With a market cap of less than $40 million, $15 million in cash, priced significantly below book value and a $1 billion NPV top tier nickel project, Royal Nickel is significantly undervalued and could be a ten-bagger.
Look at the Board Of Directors and Management sheet and you can see all the top level experience formerly from Inco which rewarded shareholders with a buyout from Vale in the last up cycle. Now may be the time to prepare for the next bull market cycle in the industrial metals with Royal Nickel as the Indonesian Export Ban sparks a supply shortfall going into the second half of this year.
Disclosure: Author is long Royal Nickel and the company is a website sponsor.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Jeb Handwerger From Gold Stock Trades.