By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief
Metal prices rebounded during November. The price of gold climbed 10% to $1,803 per ounce (oz) from $1,633.60/oz, a worrisome level for those planning future projects. Silver followed suit with prices climbing 18.9% to $22.75/oz from $19.14/oz. Prices for platinum and palladium also improved. Platinum prices climbed 12.5% to $1,055/oz from $938/oz; and palladium prices improved 4%, climbing $73/oz to $1,918/oz — a far cry from recent highs, but a move in the right direction nonetheless.
The story for minor metals was a mixed bag. The ascent of the price for lithium hydroxide steadily continues, with the price for the coveted battery mineral increasing $3,000 per metric ton (mt) to $85,000/mt, or $38.64/lb. The price for molybdenum also improved 5.5% to $44,264/mt or $20.12/lb. The price for cobalt, another prized battery mineral, dropped 13.3% from $54,013/mt to $46,848/mt, or $21.29/lb.
The prices for base metals were up across the board. Tin posted the largest gain (32.3%), moving from $17,631/mt to $23,331/mt, or $10.61/lb. Nickel prices jumped 26.6% to $27,601/mt ($12.55/lb) from $21,809/mt. Zinc prices posted a 14.2% improvement, gaining $382.50/mt to $3,079.50/mt ($1.40/lb). Copper prices climbed to $8,336/mt ($3.79/lb) from $7,450/mt ($3.39/lb). Aluminum prices increased nearly 12% to $2,485/mt ($1.13/lb) and similarly lead prices improved a little more than 10% to $2,173.50/mt ($0.99/lb).
The sudden dramatic nickel price increase brought renewed focus to the London Metal Exchange (LME), which is currently facing a $471 million lawsuit brought by U.S. hedge funds Elliott Associates and Jane Street Global Trading related to the exchange’s decision to suspend nickel trading in March 2022. The two groups, according to CNBC, have alleged the LME acted unlawfully, breached its published policies, and favored some market participants over others. The LME believes that its rulebook empowered it to suspend the market and cancel existing trades. Readers might recall that on March 8, 2022, the price for nickel more than doubled to $100,000/mt in a matter of hours before the LME suspended trading. The decision favored nickel buyers who would have been caught “short.”