• Nickel is the metal of choice for Tesla’s EV batteries, other EV makers could follow
  • Global physical market’s nickel surplus shrinks in September to 8,900 tonnes: INSG
  • Ardea Resources unveils drill-ready targets at its Emu Lake nickel project in WA

Tesla’s Battery Day announcement last week that it wants to use more nickel in its EV batteries has created a buzz around the metal and ASX companies with nickel projects.

Other electric carmakers may choose to follow industry leader Tesla’s decision, leading to more demand for the versatile metal that is used in everything from steel to batteries.

Nickel prices dropped back to $US14,470 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange, Tuesday, after a five-month rally took nickel prices to $US15,660/t in early September.

A rising US dollar had knocked some froth off prices, said analysts.

“The stronger dollar is not helping commodities,” independent market analyst Robin Bhar told Reuters.

Supply of the metal is starting to lag ballooning global demand, according to the International Nickel Study Group.

The INSG said the global nickel market had a small surplus of only 8,900 tonnes in September, down from a surplus of 14,700 tonnes in August, reported Reuters.

“The push for automotive electrification is set to provide a dramatic upside to nickel,” said commodity research group Roskill.

“Nickel, used in the cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, is being consumed in increasingly large quantities,” Roskill stated.

Physical nickel prices on the LME have retreated from their early September peak

Nickel prices on the LME have taken a step down
Nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange are lower on a stronger dollar, but the nickel market’s surplus is shrinking. Source: LME.

Ardea sets up drill targets at Emu Lake nickel project

Ardea Resources (ASX:ARL) has unveiled a set of drill-ready, high-grade nickel sulphide targets at its Emu Lake project in WA’s Eastern Goldfields after undertaking geophysical studies.

“The current priority nickel sulphide targets [are] at Emu Lake, where Newexco has done a thorough job in compiling the extensive historic geophysical and geochemical data,” managing director Andrew Penkethman said.

Electromagnetic anomalies warranting drill testing were identified at Emu Lake by Ardea’s consultants Newexco Exploration, particularly in the Binti Gossan area where previous drilling has returned several high-grade intercepts.

The Emu project is 35km east of Poseidon Nickel’s (ASX:POS) Black Swan nickel project.

The company’s latest find adds to its extensive portfolio of minerals.

Ardea Resources’ nickel tenements in eastern WA

Ardea Resourcs has extensive nickel tenements in WA
Ardea Resources has extensive nickel tenements in WA. Source: Ardea Resources

Podium Metals hits copper at Parks Reef project

Base metals and gold explorer Podium Minerals (ASX:POD) has announced drilling results for its Parks Reef project in the Weld Range complex near Cue in WA’s Mid-West region.

The results showed the presence of copper including a hit at 24m at 0.25 per cent copper alongside platinum, palladium and rhodium. Copper is another base metal that is used in EVs.

Previous drilling results at Parks Reef showed the project contained an inferred mineral resource for copper of 37,300 tonnes along a 7km strike length.

New high-grade copper-gold anomaly at Sultan’s Lachlan Fold Belt project

Sultan Resources (ASX:SLZ) said it had identified a new high-grade drill target southeast of its Star Plateau copper-gold project in the Lachlan Fold Belt in NSW called Razorback Ridge.

Analysis of rock samples from the outcrop’s mineralisation showed copper at up to 2.65 per cent and an open 1.5km by 0.2km copper-gold anomaly.

The company has applied for a new exploration tenement next to its Big Hill and Ringaroo prospects in the Lachlan Fold Belt to expand its Star Plateau tenure to 120sqkm.

ASX share prices for Ardea Resources, Podium Minerals and Sultan Resources

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