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Tesla or Tsingshan: nickel market at crossroads

Nickel buyers on the London Metal Exchange (LME) got a taste of this feeling at the end of February. The metal’s price dived from almost $20,000 (£14,500) a tonne (t) in the last week of February to just over $16,100/t by the first week of March. 

There wasn’t a fusion-level discovery or even a scientific breakthrough but Chinese steelmaker Tsingshan sent shockwaves through the mining industry when it announced (on WeChat no less, according Reuters) it had signed a deal to supply two battery manufacturers with 100,000 tonnes of nickel matte. Some context is needed for this to make sense as news that could knock 20 per cent off the nickel price. 

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