The December MMI Report: Construction, Auto MMIs Heat Up

We’re another month closer to the end of the calendar year, and there’s much to recap from the last month in metals. Benchmark Your Current Metal Price by Grade, Shape and Alloy: See How it Stacks Up After four MMIs ticked upward for our November reading, five did so for our latest report. Hitting some…

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from Precious Metals – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2017/12/14/december-nickel-stainless-steel-aluminum-automotive-construction/

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This Morning in Metals: Wisconsin Ends Mining Moratorium

This morning in metals news, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill ending the state’s moratorium on gold and silver mining, Chile approaches a busy year for mine union negotiations, and Chinese steel futures drop. Benchmark Your Current Metal Price by Grade, Shape and Alloy: See How it Stacks Up Going for the Gold in…

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from Precious Metals – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2017/12/12/wisconsin-scott-walker-governor-mining-moratorium-chile-copper-union-china-steel-futures/

Rare Earths MMI: Basket of Metals Slides as Prices Drop

The Rare Earths MMI took a three-point drop for the month, falling to 18 for our December reading. 
Save for an 11-cent increase in the Chinese yttrium price, the heavier hitters in this basket of metals  — terbium oxide, neodymium oxide, europium oxide and dysprosium oxide — posted price drops.

Benchmark Your Current Metal Price by Grade, Shape and Alloy: See How it Stacks Up

Australian Rare Earths Miner Makes a Comeback

An article by Forbes chronicles the major bounceback of Australian rare-earths miner Lynas Corp., which rebounded after losing 99% of its share price.

The reason for the revival? The electric-car wave and environmental cleanup efforts in China, the Forbes article reports.

Surviving an oversupplied market that saw rare-earths prices plummet in recent years, a tightening of the market by China — the dominant global producer of rare earths — saw the firm’s fortunes reverse.

“Lynas, a former gold miner, somehow survived, and today it’s enjoying a rerun of the rare-earths shortage as China’s tougher pollution laws and the growing popularity of electric cars are boosting prices,” Forbes reports.

Namibia Rare Earths Acquires Portfolio of Metal Properties

In other recent news, Namibia Rare Earths announced in November the acquisition of a portfolio of critical metal properties in Namibia.

According to a release from the firm, it agreed to acquire a “majority interest in seven projects ranging from exploration opportunities to near term feasibility stage” from Gecko Namibia (Pty) Ltd.

“The Gecko Namibia portfolio of properties will expand the Company’s commodity base from solely rare earths to a variety of highly critical commodities including cobalt, copper, zinc, lithium, graphite, tantalum, niobium, nickel, and gold,” the release continues. “Ground holdings in Namibia will increase from 221 km2 (Lofdal) to over 6,850 km2.”

Instability, Violence in Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is rich with rare-earths, like cobalt, used in things like computers, cellphones and electric car batteries.

However, political instability and violence in the country this year have understandably had significant effects on the rare-earths market in the central African country. (Of course, as has been mentioned in this space before, the market effects of the instability and violence is not the primary takeaway of these events, but is relevant insofar as we are talking about metals.)

Recently, at least 14 United Nations peacekeepers were killed after an attack in the eastern portion of the country Friday, the Washington Post reported.

In a statement Friday, U.N Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the attack, saying it constituted a war crime.

“This is the worst attack on UN peacekeepers in the Organization’s recent history,” Guterres said.

While the price of metals is a small consideration compared with the bloodshed in the country this year — in August, the U.N. reported approximately 250 people were killed in ethnic-based massacres — instability and violence certainly have an effect on production capabilities and, thus, metal prices for rare earths mined in the DRC (like cobalt).

Free Sample Report: Our Annual Metal Buying Outlook

Actual Metal Prices and Trends

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from Precious Metals – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2017/12/11/rare-earths-lynas-corp-china-yttrium-terbium-dysprosium-europium-oxide-congo-namibia/

Global Precious MMI: Palladium Breaks Through $1,000 Barrier

 Benchmark Your Current Metal Price by Grade, Shape and Alloy: See How it Stacks Up

Here’s What Happened

  • MetalMiner’s Global Precious MMI, tracking a basket of precious metals from across the globe, ticked up another point to 88 for the December reading, a 1.1% increase.
  • Palladium flexed its muscles, officially busting through the $1,000 per ounce ceiling. The platinum-group metal’s (PGM) U.S. bar price has jumped nearly a whopping 50% since the beginning of the year.
  • Platinum crept closer to palladium’s level over the last month, ending up in the mid-$900s per ounce level. It has receded from its most recent high of March 2017, when it landed above $1,000 per ounce.
  • “We’ve got a trend, folks!” — this is the third straight month in which palladium is priced at a premium to platinum, which has not been the historical norm.
  • After breaking and holding above the $1,300 per ounce threshold at the beginning of September for the first time since October 2016, the U.S. gold price has been dropping for a couple months before leveling out for Dec. 1. Gold bullion is just about $4 per ounce higher than it was at the start of November.

What’s Going On in the Background?

  • Why has palladium been trading at a premium to platinum? A reminder: “Palladium has traded at a discount to platinum because of platinum’s greater cost of extraction and its wider scope of applications,” according to Stuart Burns, MetalMiner’s editor at large. But the fall of diesel (compared to gas) engines has bumped up palladium demand — which, coupled with anticipation of both palladium and platinum production falling, according to analysts from UBS and SP Angel, paints a picture of potentially sustained higher prices. For now, heading into the winter holidays, the current trend is making palladium investors feel pretty good.
  • Gold in the spotlight. Let’s pivot to gold a bit this month. A gold mine in Ireland is causing some controversy amidst the background of Brexit, with greater numbers of potential jobs and environmental impact all hanging in the balance.

What Metal Buyers Should Look Out For

Free Sample Report: Our Annual Metal Buying Outlook

Key Price Movers and Shakers

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from Precious Metals – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2017/12/08/global-precious-metals-eft-intelligence-firm-palladium-platinum-sp-500-gold/

This Afternoon in Metals: Tax Bill May Upend Renewables Investment

This afternoon in metals news, the U.S. renewable energy industry has reason to worry about the Republican tax proposal, union members at the Quebrada Blanca copper mine in Chile move closer to a strike, and precious metal prices fall. Benchmark Your Current Metal Price by Grade, Shape and Alloy: See How it Stacks Up Renewables…

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from Precious Metals – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2017/11/30/this-afternoon-in-metals-tax-bill-may-upend-renewables-investment/

Useful Market Tools for Gold Buyers

Gold prices seem to be moving sideways after prices peaked in September. Gold prices followed similar patterns to other base metals (such as copper and nickel), and rallied during Q3. We might expect to see price pullbacks after volatile bullish runs. Benchmark Your Current Metal Price by Grade, Shape and Alloy: See How it Stacks…

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from Precious Metals – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2017/11/30/gold-market-copper-nickel-sp-500-china-fxi-index/

There’s Gold in Them There Hills

Management’s claim that this is one of the best gold projects on the planet may be a bit of hyperbole, but it does tick all the boxes as an exciting new resource located close to major communication and support infrastructure in a politically and economically stable country. Benchmark Your Current Metal Price by Grade, Shape…

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from Precious Metals – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2017/11/29/gold-curraghinalt-northern-ireland-dalradian-resources-irish-troubles-cyanide-mining/