Canadian mining firm Sherritt and Cuban government poised to benefit from sudden increase in nickel prices

Sherritt’s eco-friendly mining operation in Cuba

From our Bureau of Massive Debts and Blood-Soaked Profits

The price of nickel has shot through the roof to record levels, and Castro, Inc. is undoubtedly thrilled by this side-effect of the war in Ukraine, which might actually offset its loss of Russian tourists,

Castro, Inc.’s Canadian mining partner, Sherritt International might even be more enthused by this bit of luck and has already entered talks with fake president Trucutú Díaz-Canel for an immediate increase in nickel mining.

However, as always happens whenever Castro, Inc. is involved in anything, there is a big wrinkle in all of this, for as it turns out, Castro, Inc. owes Sherritt 156 million dollars in shared profits for its mining operation plus another 79 million dollars for gas that it purchases from Energas, a subsidiary of Sherritt.

Ah, but no worries, Castro, Inc. will make a huge profit from this windfall, since it doesn’t care about debts and never pays what it owes. The whopping debt it has amassed with Sherritt is a clear sign that the financial geniuses at Castro, Inc. have set things up in such a way as to funnel ALL profits from the Moa nickel mines through itself, leaving the Canadians at their mercy, waiting to collect their pound of flesh. As far as the debt for the gas is concerned, that is no different from all of Castro, Inc.’s other debt: it simply refuses to pay its bills.

Blood money: The immediate cause of soaring nickel prices

Abridged and loosely translated from Diario de Cuba

The price of three-month nickel futures soared this week to $100,000 a ton, an all-time high that prompted the London Metal Exchange to halt trading abruptly, then resume trading when the value stabilized around $80,000. Dollars.

The escalation is one more of the effects of the invasion of Ukraine by the Kremlin and the international boycott of Russia, responsible for 10% of the global extraction of the metal. In this scenario, will Cuba, with the fourth largest reserve in the world, be able to benefit from a war that its government has not condemned?

In this scenario, the visit to the Island of Leon Binedell, president of the Canadian mining company Sherritt International, responsible for the largest exploitation of this metal in Cuba, is not a minor fact.

Binedell met the first week of March with Miguel Díaz-Canel. From that meeting it hardly transpired in the press reports that the two discussed how to “deepen” the participation of the Canadian company in the Cuban economy, especially in the energy sector.

The official newspaper Granma described the meeting as “cordial” and assured that “both parties discussed the potentialities that exist to deepen the participation of this company in the economic development of Cuba, even in the midst of the tightening of the United States blockade, on all in activities such as mining, oil prospecting and power generation”.

This is Binedell’s second visit to Cuba in less than four months. In November 2021, the manager said that he intended to increase nickel production in Moa, to continue exploiting the deposits for “several decades.”

However, according to Sherritt’s business report for 2021, on December 31 of that year the total amount of profits owed to it by Cuba was 156 million dollars, a figure higher than the 152.5 million on September 30 of the same year.

Although Sherritt is the main private supplier of energy to the Government of Cuba, especially based on its agreements with the Energas company, the payments that Havana must make for this service are also behind schedule, and the debt for that service at the end of 2021 was 78.9 million dollars.

Whole story HERE in Spanish