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As it happens, the nickel that turned out to be stones was purchased by JPMorgan


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At the port of Rotterdam in November.

At the port of Rotterdam in November. (PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW/REUTERS)

JPMorgan Chase owned bags of material kept in a Dutch warehouse that were supposed to contain nickel but turned out to be full of stones, people familiar with the matter said.

The London Metal Exchange said last week that sacks thought to hold 54 metric tons of nickel in an unnamed warehouse had failed to comply with its standards. The bags were in a shed in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, The Wall Street Journal and other outlets reported. The problem: They contained stones instead of a silvery metal used in steel and electric-vehicle batteries.

The LME didn't disclose the name of the company that believed itself to be the owner of nickel briquettes valued at $1.3 million at current prices. The firm was JPMorgan, according to the people, some of whom said the bank first bought the material several years ago.

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