(MB) Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly up during Asian morning trading on Thursday, with nickel climbing more than 2% on strong buying interest, while lead was the sole metal in negative territory. The most-traded September nickel contract price on the SHFE jumped to 117,040 yuan ($18,276) per tonne as at 10.14am Shanghai time, up 2,320 yuan per tonne from Wednesday’s close. Tharisa has acquired a 26.8% stake in Karo Mining Holding, a platinum group metals (PGM) and base metals project in Zimbabwe, for $4.5 million, the South African chrome miner has announced. The United States boosted its consumption of alumina significantly in the first quarter of 2018, attributed to the restart of primary aluminium smelting capacity in the country. US mills have filed duty-circumvention cases versus Vietnamese cold-rolled and coated flat-rolled steel made from South Korean substrate. China’s crude steel and finished steel output both rose year on year in May, helped by higher prices and improved producer margins. China’s coke futures surged ahead during morning trading on Thursday, while finished steel and iron ore contracts saw only minimal fluctuations.