A falling nickel price has finally taken the scalp of WA producer Panoramic Resources (ASX:PAN), which today called in administrators after efforts to sell or revive its Savannah nickel mine were unsuccessful.

The administrator will now look to either sell or recapitalise the business, with the mine to remain operational during this process, “at least in the short term”.

During this process the stock will remain suspended. Whatever the outcome, retail investors will probably be the biggest losers.

As of 15 September this year there were 10,608 shareholders on the register.

EXPLAINER: What happens to my shares when a company goes bust?

Panoramic survived the last nickel downturn in 2016, which saw Savannah placed on care and maintenance as prices fell below US$4/lb.

It reaching commercial production again mid 2022, but cratering nickel prices, logistic issues, busted plant parts and escalating costs has now put the stock – worth over $750m last year – to the sword.

Panoramic was unable to survive despite raising $46m in July via placement and share purchase plan.

It leave a huge gap in the ASX-listed space, with the only other pureplay nickel producer of any scale, Mincor (ASX:MCR), recently acquired by Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals.



It also represents another blow to lithium-nickel major IGO (ASX:IGO), which inherited a big chunk of PAN stock via the ill-fated $1.3bn Western Areas takeover.

IGO actually lobbed a$312m takover offer at PAN in 2019, which was taken off the table after a number of subsequent announcements by PAN prompted IGO to rethink its pursuit.