UPDATE 1.20pm: Shares in WA’s nickel miners were up strongly today after Indonesia yesterday officially signed off on a watered-down mineral export ban.
The original proposal was for a blanket ban on the export of raw minerals, designed to force miners to process their ores in Indonesia, but a last-minute change signed by Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday will allow the US mining giants Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold and Newmont to continue to ship billions of dollars worth of copper overseas.
About 20 per cent of global nickel supply comes from Indonesia.
Western Areas shares closed up 21 cents, or 8.94 per cent, at $2.56, Mincor was up 2.5 cents, or 4.43 per cent, to 59 cents, Independence Group climbed 17 cents, or 5.48 per cent, to $3.27 while Panoramic Resources added 1.5 cents, or 6.52 per cent, to 24.5 cents.
WA's producers are expecting an uptick in nickel prices this year as supply tightens.