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LME finds bags of stones instead of nickel in metal warehouse
And maybe even the stones had been rehypothecated.
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By Harry Dempsey
Financial Times, London
Friday, March 17, 2023
The London Metal Exchange has found bags full of stones at one of its warehouses instead of the nickel they were supposed to contain in the latest drama to hit the scandal-stricken metals market.
The exchange said in a notice to the market today that it had "received information that a number of physical nickel shipments, out of one specific facility of an LME-licensed warehouse operator, have been subject to such irregularities."
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The supposed nickel consignments were actually filled with stone, said a person familiar with the matter.
The LME added that the irregularities in the bagged nickel were "evident from, among other things, the weight of the bags" and it "reminds licensed warehouse operators of the strict requirement to weigh all metal before it is placed" into the exchange's approved warehouses.
The discovery comes just weeks after Trafigura, one of the world's largest metals traders, unearthed a $577 million nickel fraud that has rocked the commodities industry.
The supposed nickel was stored in Rotterdam at a warehouse operated by Access World, which had been owned by Trafigura's commodity trading rival Glencore until January, according to a person familiar with the matter. ...
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