05/01/2009 - 15:20

Higher prices boost WA nickel plays

05/01/2009 - 15:20

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The share prices of Western Australian nickel plays soared today thanks to a near 16 per cent surge in the commodity's price.

Higher prices boost WA nickel plays

The share prices of Western Australian nickel plays soared today thanks to a near 16 per cent surge in the commodity's price.

Perth-based Mirabela Nickel led the charge with its share price jumping 39 per cent, or 35 cents, to close at $1.25 today.

The share price surge prompted a 'please explain' from the Australian Securities Exchange, in which Mirabela said the lift in the nickel price last week may be the cause.

The price of nickel for three month delivery on the London Metal Exchange jumped 15.8 per cent to $US13,500 per tonne on Friday while the settlement price was $US12,710 a tonne.

"This is material to the price of the company's securities," Mirabela told the ASX.

Other nickel miners to record gains were Panoramic Resources, up 13 per cent to $1.22, Minara Resources rose 8 per cent to 33.5c, Mincor Resources gained 12.2 per cent to 87c and Western Areas climbed 3 per cent to $3.70.

IG Markets research analyst Ben Potter said the higher nickel price on Friday was driven by end-of-year short covering and speculative buying ahead of fund rebalancing.

On Monday, three-month nickel futures fell to $US12,550 per tonne after China's top nickel miner Jinchuan Group said it would increase metals output this year.

Nickel was one of the worst performing commodities last year, sinking from more than $US33,000 a tonne in March to sub-$US9,000 in October due to lower demand from steel makers.

Mirabela said today that it was making good progress in finalising its senior debt financing arrangements for its large Santa Rita project in Brazil.

"The company is aiming to secure appropriate financing commitments by the end of January."

 

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