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Nickel rally resumes amid Indonesia ore ban fears

Kitco News

BEIJING, Aug 12 (Reuters) - London nickel prices rose sharply in volatile Asian trade early on Monday as speculation continued that key producer Indonesia is about to bring forward a ban on mineral ore exports that was previously set to start in 2022.

The metal used to make stainless steel hit a 16-month high last Thursday before shedding 2.1% on Friday.

Jakarta is discussing bringing forward the ban but no decision has been made on such a move, Indonesia's trade minister, Enggartiasto Lukita, said on Friday. FUNDAMENTALS
* NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 3.8% to $16,145 a tonne and stood at $16,125 a tonne as of 0149 GMT, below the 16-month high of $16,690 struck last Thursday. The most-traded October nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged down
0.1% to 125,810 yuan ($17,816.83) a tonne.
* VOLUMES: Trading volumes in the October ShFE nickel contract had surged past 1 million lots by 0130 GMT, already surpassing the 30-day average for a full day's trade.
* COLUMN: Indonesian supply fears stoke brutal LME nickel battle: Andy Home
* OTHER METALS: Lead was the second-biggest gainer in the LME complex, adding 1.6% to a two-week high of $2,100 a tonne, while copper was flat at $5,755 a tonne and tin shed 0.7%. ShFE zinc slipped 1.2% and tin fell 1.6%.
* COPPER: Peru on Friday suspended a recently issued construction permit for Southern Copper's Tia Maria mine, a project that has triggered violent protests by nearby residents.
* ARIZONA: Rio Tinto on Friday said it had moved a step closer to the development of a new copper project in Arizona, one of the few new major known deposits of the metal, with the potential to meet around a quarter of U.S. demand.
* MOLY: Fresh from closing a $518 million acquisition, metals firm China Molybdenum Co remains open to deals that would boost business in the booming electric vehicle battery sector, the company's chief executive said on Friday.
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(Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Richard Pullin)

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