US metal refining company monitors the black mass market with the latest pricing data and insights

We discover how Nth Cycle is using price data and market forecasts to revolutionize the North American metal refining industry

Nth Cycle, a North American-based metal refining company, is the creator of pioneering green technology that is shaking up the critical minerals sector. We explore how it uses Fastmarkets’ global insights to stay ahead of the market.

Summary of key points

• Fastmarkets’ global news service allowed Nth Cycle to monitor changes in the volatile black mass market
• Pricing trends were identified and forecasts were created, with the detailed price data
• Live events facilitated real business development opportunities

The company

Nth Cycle employs a unique metal refining technology that claims to take an entirely different and greener approach to the refining of critical minerals.

The company’s mission is to revolutionize the metal refining industry in North America, embracing a future where sustainability and technology merge to create a cleaner, safer and more efficient method of extracting critical metals.

Head of business development, Guillermo Espiga spoke to Fastmarkets and explained that the company was founded in response to the historic challenges that have affected the metal refining industry.

“The industry has drawn on broadly the same technology for decades,” he says. “Pyro technology is very energy intensive and hydrometallurgical technology uses a high volume of chemicals, which are not good for the environment”.

He also highlighted the inefficiencies of the sector concerning transportation and regional disruptions. “By the time you have the finished metal product it has traveled around the globe five or six times” he said. “Plus, there are challenges centered around critical minerals (nickel, cobalt) residing in places that are geopolitically challenged (China or Russia) or regions where there are questionable environmental practices”.

Nth Cycle has been working with Fastmarkets for two years. In that time, the collaboration has allowed the company to keep informed and anticipate market developments.

Breaking black mass news allows to anticipate change

In the time Nth Cycle has worked with Fastmarkets, the company benefited from a range of services. One area that has been pivotal for business operations is the news service. Guillermo comments, “I get up-to-the-minute access to news about the metals and critical minerals market. We follow the nickel, cobalt and lithium hydroxide markets very closely – so it is ideal for that”.

The news has been essential given Nth Cycle’s interests in black mass, which is strongly tied to critical minerals. “Black mass is a brand new, volatile, market. It’s shredded lithium-ion batteries and the challenge with this commodity is that it is so varied and dynamic. It can be challenging to keep up with the changes.”

The head of business development also highlighted the benefit of Fastmarkets’ ability to “…report on black mass prices in different parts of the world and of different qualities”. This source of rich pricing information is cited as being highly valuable in such an unpredictable and key market, with “…direct access to respected analysts and reporters”.

“We appreciate the openness as the team is always available to have a call and talk about the market. You have key people who cover different markets and they are only a phone call away from us. It’s a great service.”

These are volatile markets and they’re changing all the time due to the nature of the industry. It’s a very dynamic market so we appreciate the exchange of info with Fastmarkets.
Guillermo Espiga, head of business development.

He emphasized that breaking news relating to sudden shifts in black mass market prices, around the world, are the most valuable articles. Guillermo says “For example, looking at the divergence of prices in Europe vs Asia and how they move with supply and demand, is what we keep an eye on in terms of news.”

Price data powers short term forecasting

Nth Cycle makes extensive use of the price data that Fastmarket publishes. “We appreciate the access we get to pricing data, charts and graphs and pricing history info for all these metals commodities. The company exports and manipulates this data to create its internal forecasting.”

We leverage the Fastmarkets price information and rely on it to do transactions and to conduct our internal forecasting.
Guillermo Espiga, head of business development.

The pricing trends Nth Cycle can identify with the data, enables the company to conduct negotiations and commercial deals, as it provides objective insights into realistic price benchmarking. “When we are looking at price trends using Fastmarkets data, it becomes so important when striking deals because the market can be very variable. This is especially helpful when conducting business with black mass producers and mixed hydroxide precipitate buyers” Guillermo said. “With any negotiation, you need to be informed by market trends and robust prices.”

Example:

There are employees throughout Nth Cycle’s business who make use of Fastmarkets’ news, forecasts and prices, as the live information has numerous uses and benefits. “We have decision-makers using the data to justify commercial actions, analysts using the services to spot price curves and trends and business development people using it looking for new opportunities. They’re all using it.”

Face to face networking, with events

The company is a keen attendee when it comes to Fastmarkets’ annual global networking and economist events. In addition to the company’s attendance, Nth Cycle has spoken at some of the events and contributed to the discussion around black mass and critical materials.

We appreciate that the events are a platform to meet our colleagues and other players in the industry
Guillermo Espiga, head of business development.

Guillermo highlighted the benefit of returning to face-to-face conferences. “When there are so many virtual meetings and calls it’s great to be able to meet face to face. It helps to spark real business opportunities.”

Nth Cycle has been present at Fastmarkets’ events around the globe. “We are active in attending Fastmarkets’ conferences in the US and Europe and now we will also attend the Asian conference.”

Discover how Fastmarkets can help you

The need to stay on top of the metal and critical minerals industry trends and anticipate the future has never been greater. Keep up with this fast-moving, global market.

Fastmarkets is one of the leading price reporting, analytics and events organization for the global metals, critical minerals, agriculture and forest products markets. Discover how our prices, data and analysis can help your company.

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