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Horizonte Minerals secures $325 mln in financing for Brazil nickel…

LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Horizonte Minerals said on Wednesday it has secured a $325 million syndicated loan to help fund construction of a nickel mine in Brazil, and is in advanced talks to secure a further $115 million from offtakes and equity by the end of the year.

London-listed shares in the company jumped 30% to 4.3 pence by 1450 GMT, to near its highest level in a year, on the news.

The Araguaia project will produce ferro-nickel which is used in stainless steel.

Construction is expected to begin early next year and the first stage of the project will cost a total of $440 million, Horizonte said.

Nickel projects outside of Asia have had trouble securing financing as production in Asian countries such as Indonesia is cheaper and has pressured prices.

Benchmark prices for nickel are trading at around $14,000 per tonne, a far cry from a peak of $50,000 in 2007, keeping investors at bay.

“We believe in financing the Araguaia project at the bottom of the cycle so that we come online and start producing on an upwards increasing nickel price,” Horizonte’s CEO Jeremy Martin told Reuters by phone.

The syndicated loan announced on Wednesday was arranged by BNP Paribas, ING, Mizuho, Natixis and Société Générale.

Martin said Horizonte was in advanced discussions with miner and trader Glencore and private equity firm Orion Resources Partners, amongst others, for equity and project financing.

The company was also in talks to supply nickel to stainless steel producers primarily in Europe and North America.

Martin said Horizonte, which is also listed in Toronto , plans to invest in its other nickel project in Brazil, which produces battery-grade material as interest in the metal and electric vehicles gathers pace.

While stainless steel accounts for about 70% of nickel demand, its growing use in electric vehicles is expected to be the main driver of consumption in the longer term.

(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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Apple Watch Series 6 ongoing review: SpO2 tracking, new watch faces and more

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Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

 

The Apple Watch Series 6 continues to evolve as Apple’s personal health hub on your wrist. The new watch has an FDA-cleared ECG app, a family mode to keep track of loved ones and cardio fitness alerts. It can also measure blood oxygen levels.

But as the smartwatch landscape becomes saturated with competitors including Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 and the new Fitbit Sense, which promise health features including an ECG, plus a cheaper Apple Watch SE in the mix, the $399 (£379, AU$599) Series 6 faces more competition than ever.

I’ve only spent a day with the Apple Watch Series 6, but already there are a few things that make it stand out.

Blood oxygen levels while you sleep, or on-demand

The biggest upgrade to the Series 6 is a new Blood Oxygen app that measures oxygen saturation in the blood, also known as SpO2. One of the first things I noticed on the watch — aside from the bright red frame — was the new sensors on the back: Eight tiny dots lined up in a circle, where the previous models only had one big one in the center. These are the red and infrared sensors that measure the color of your blood and determine the percentage of oxygen in it.

There are two ways the Apple Watch Series 6 measures oxygen saturation: on demand through the app, or intermittently in the background as you go about your day (or night). During the setup process you’re asked whether or not you want to activate this feature on the Watch, which I did, but you can always go back and disable it in the settings. The first thing I did after strapping it on was tap on the Blood Oxygen app. The watch gives you a few tips on how to get the best result, and requires you to rest your arm on a table or flat surface. Then the 15-second countdown begins and you’re done. It was straightforward and painless. I got a 95% on my first read, which was lower than what I’m used to. Anything above 90% is considered a healthy range, but higher is better in this case.

 


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I tested it a few more times and noticed I got slightly different results (a few percentage points off) depending on whether or not I was completely silent during the test, where I had the watch positioned on my wrist and how tight the watch was. I tested alongside my own pulse oximeter (the gold standard for this metric) and the Apple Watch was off by about one or two points every time, which is expected. The pulse oximeter shines the light through the tip of the finger and where it’s picked up on the other end, while the Apple Watch does it on the wrist and measures the light that bounces back, so there are many other factors that can affect your results.

I panic-bought a pulse oximeter back in March when the COVID-19 pandemic was just ramping up in the US like a lot of other people. I heard the horror stories of people dying overnight because they went to bed not knowing their blood oxygen levels were dangerously low and didn’t get to a hospital in time. I still keep it in my bedside table and use it as a safety check whenever I’m feeling ill or out of breath. To be clear, you should always check with a doctor if you’re feeling out of breath, even if your levels seem to be normal.

Apple makes it clear that this feature isn’t intended to replace a medical device, and shouldn’t be used to make any kind of diagnosis. Instead it’s meant to provide a more general look at what’s going on in your body over a longer period of time than what you’d get from a single read with a traditional pulse oximeter.

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Copper supported by low stocks and weaker dollar

By Pratima Desai

LONDON, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Copper prices rose on Tuesday supported by historically low inventories in London Metal Exchange registered warehouses and a weaker dollar, but gains were limited because of uncertainty about demand prospects.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.3% to $6,533 a tonne at 1600 GMT.

Prices of the metal used widely in the power and construction industries have traded around the $6,500 level since the middle of July.

“Copper is in a situation where the market needs to figure out where the balance is heading in the sense that we have seen extremely strong demand from China,” said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

“We also need to know how much of that demand is actually being consumed and how much is restocking.”

DOLLAR: A weaker U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated metals cheaper for consumers using other currencies, which could boost demand. It could also increase costs for producers in other currencies that are appreciating against the dollar.

“Dollar weakness is cyclical not structural and it is primarily against the euro,” Menke said.

“Emerging market currencies are still weak against the dollar and you can’t say costs in those metal producing countries will rise.”

INVENTORIES: Stocks of copper in LME warehouses have tumbled <MCUSTX-TOTAL> to 14-year lows at 95,525 tonnes and compare with a number above 250,000 tonnes in May.

Worries about copper supplies on the LME market have since the start of July created a large premium for the cash over the three-month contract <MCU0-3>.

It rose to $25 a tonne in late July and closed at $18 a tonne.

NICKEL: Three-month nickel earlier touched $14,995, the highest since November last year, on worries about supplies for China’s stainless steel mills.

“Recently nickel laterite ore prices have been continuously rising amid declining inventories at Chinese ports,” ING analysts said in a note.

“Stainless steel margins have also improved recently, which should be supportive for nickel demand.”

OTHER METALS: Aluminium was up 0.2% at $1,775 a tonne, zinc gained 1.3% to $2,478, lead rose 0.7% to $1,994, tin climbed 0.5% to $17,390 and nickel advanced 0.3% to $14,975.

(Reporting by Pratima Desai Editing by Jane Merriman)

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