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Overall nickel market watchers appear positive about 2015, with some — including Scotiabank's Patricia Mohr — expecting a deficit to hit.
Tesla Motors and its lithium-ion battery gigafactory definitely stole the show in the cobalt market this past year. Looking forward, it appears that increased demand from that facility and others will begin to push the market into deficit.
Seabridge Gold got an early Christmas present last Friday when its British Columbia-based KSM project got the go-ahead from Canada's federal government. According to Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk, the next step for the company will be to find a partner.
Following a flurry of trading activity on Friday, Rare Earth Minerals announced on Monday that it has completed its own scoping study for two concessions within Bacanora's Sonora lithium project.
2014 hasn't been the best year for the coal market. Next year, Joe Aldina of Wood Mackenzie expects to see more high-cost supply come out of the market, but his firm isn't calling for a material recovery in coal prices for another couple of years.
2014 was a quiet year for the moly space, though December brought two interesting pieces of news. Looking to the future, those hoping to see a stronger moly market in 2015 may end up getting that wish in the short term, but perhaps not in the long term.
Volatility continues in the iron ore space, with the metal's price searching for a bottom and its producers experiencing substantial share price swings. However, BC Iron is perhaps in the sweet spot of having a solid balance sheet and low enough cash costs to survive the current downturn, but high enough costs to offer substantial leverage in the event of an upswing.
Bacanora Minerals experienced trading volumes much higher than average both in London and on the TSX Venture on Friday on speculation that it will soon issue a positive update on its Mexican lithium projects. Rare Earth Minerals, which holds a 30-percent interest in Bacanora's subsidiaries, also experienced a price spike and higher-than-average trading volumes.
While iron ore prices have seen a dramatic drop this year, hope could be on the horizon with ferroalloys. Read on for an explanation from Christopher Tuck, commodity specialist with the National Minerals Information Center, US Geological Survey.
Patricia Mohr, Scotiabank economist and commodity market specialist, remains positive on the future of oil, and expects prices to start trending upward in the first quarter of 2015.