Nickel: SLN unveils new cost-cutting measures

Roskill view: SLN’s management has confirmed its aim of cutting its cash cost to $4.5/lb nickel by the end of 2017 from $6/lb at the end of 2015. However, the company’s management added that around 60% of global production had an average cash cost of $4/lb nickel. Faced with this, SLN estimates that its own $4.5/lb cash cost target is no longer sufficient and it is now seeking to lower its cash costs further, to $4/lb nickel by end-2020. Having analysed its costs and those of its competitors, the company believes that its productivity and power costs diverged from those of its peers. As a result, SLN will seek to boost productivity by re-organising teams and by increasing working hours. At the same time, the company will seek to lower its power costs – which are the highest in the industry – through efficiency measures and by re-negotiating electricity costs. These measures are independent of the new power plant project, which should only be online by 2022.

To discuss the nickel market with Roskill, contact Thomas Höhne-Sparborth: ths@roskill.com or Olivier Masson: olivier@roskill.com