Archive | Zinc, Lead and Tin

Tin prices face pressure from rising output, says ITA – by Eric Onstad (Reuters U.S. – November 29, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Rising refined tin output will cut the global market deficit next year and weigh on prices as new Chinese smelters ramp up and Indonesia also expands production, the International Tin Association said on Friday. Benchmark tin prices have already been the worst performer on the London Metal Exchange this year, sliding 16%.

“The average price has declined quite significantly from last year and we would expect next year to also be quite a difficult year for tin,” James Willoughby, manager of market intelligence for the association, told a seminar in London.

Refined output is expected to increase by 5.8% to 352,000 tonnes next year while demand rises by only 0.4% to 353,900 tonnes, according to ITA forecasts. That means the global deficit is forecast to fall to 1,900 tonnes in 2020 from 20,000 tonnes this year. Continue Reading →

Vedanta warns it may have to process ore outside South Africa – by Barbara Lewis and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.S. – November 25, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Vedanta, one of South Africa’s biggest international investors, will process its zinc ore elsewhere unless the country can fix its power problems, the CEO of Vedanta unit Vedanta Zinc International said.

South Africa has suffered rolling blackouts and the debts of state power company Eskom have sapped the country’s economy. The utility’s problems also risk scuppering South Africa’s goal of encouraging processing from mining operations to maximize revenues and jobs.

Deshnee Naidoo, the CEO of Vedanta Zinc International (VZI), which has operations in South Africa and Namibia, said she was concerned a solution might not be possible. Continue Reading →

Glencore Canada to shut Brunswick smelter, union laments ‘devasting blow’ ( – November 13, 2019)

The Canadian unit of global mining and commodities trader Glencore on Wednesday announced the permanent closure of the Brunswick lead smelter, which it said had become uneconomic after the closure of the Brunswick mine in 2013.

The company said that the decommissioning process would begin immediately and the smelter, in Belledune, would cease all operations by the end of the year, affecting more than 400 workers.

Glencore head of zinc and lead assets, Chris Eskdale said in a news release that the decision to cease lead smelting operations was a “very difficult one”. Continue Reading →

Trevali eyes $80m Namibia expansion, moves operations down cost curve – by Mariaan Webb ( – November 6, 2019)

Base metals miner Trevali, which owns operations in Peru, Canada, Namibia and Burkina Faso, has launched a “transformative improvement programme”, dubbed T90, which aims to move its operations down the cost curve.

Trevali is targeting $50-million in pre-tax yearly sustainable efficiencies over the next two years, culminating in all-in sustaining costs (AISC) falling to $0.90/lb by the beginning of 2022.

“We will accomplish this through operational improvements, standardization, and the deployment of technology. This plan will give us the platform to scale and additional improvements beyond T90 are undoubtedly in front of us as it opens the door to the reduction in cut off grades and extended mine lives at our operations,” said president and CEO Ricus Grimbeek. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Zinc and lead supply hits push expected surpluses into 2020 – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – November 4, 2019)

LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Zinc and lead are both in short supply on the London Metal Exchange (LME). Headline zinc stocks of 53,875 tonnes are back at April levels, while “live” tonnage of 27,800 tonnes is the lowest it’s been in at least 20 years.

Lead stocks are a little higher at 70,075 tonnes but have failed significantly to rebuild from July’s decade low of 55,475 tonnes. Unsurprisingly, both LME contracts are experiencing time-spread tightness.

Zinc closed last week with cash metal commanding a $61-per tonne premium over metal for three-month delivery. Lead’s front-month curve structure is also in backwardation to the tune of $7.25 at Friday’s close. The sister metals have defied expectations of a shift into supply surplus throughout this year and they continue to do so. Continue Reading →

Copper prices seen stifled by growth fears next year: Reuters poll – by Eric Onstad and K. Sathya Narayanan (Reuters U.S. – October 28, 2019)

LONDON/ (Reuters) – Prices of copper and other industrial metals are expected to be capped next year as weak economic growth weighs on the market, a Reuters poll showed.

The London Metal Exchange index of six base metals has inched up only 1% so far this year, held back by worries about a possible global recession and a trade war between the United States and top metals consumer China.

But the average is deceptive, because sharp gains for nickel of over 50% cover the fact that half of the metals are in the red, with losses of up to 15%. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-The battery metal no one wants to talk about – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – October 17, 2019)

LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – It accounts for around 75% of all rechargeable energy storage around the world. It is in just about every car and truck, regardless of whether the vehicle has an internal-combustion engine, uses hybrid technology or is pure electric.

Its proven reliability makes it the metal of choice for energy back-up services in hospitals, telephone exchanges, emergency services and public buildings. It is one of the most recycled materials in the modern world, more so than glass or paper, with the United States and Europe boasting near 100% recycling rates.

Yet it is largely absent from any discussion of battery materials in the coming electric vehicle and energy storage revolutions. Welcome to lead. The lead-acid battery was invented in 1859 by a French physicist, Gaston Plante. While plenty of other scientists were experimenting with electrical storage in the middle of the 19th century, Plante’s breakthrough was to create a battery that could be recharged. Continue Reading →

Column: Smelter outages prolong zinc’s supply-chain bottleneck – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – October 15, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – “The most critical issue facing the zinc market is the performance of zinc smelters and Chinese zinc smelters in particular.” A potential smelter bottleneck topped research house Wood Mackenzie’s January zinc list of “Things to look for in 2019”.

And so it has proved. The world’s zinc mines lifted production by 1.9% in the first half of this year, according to the latest statistical bulletin from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group.

However, world refined metal production fell by 0.4% over the same period. The surprise is that it’s not Chinese smelters that have been having problems, but rather those in the rest of the world. Continue Reading →

Northern zinc-rich projects get boost – by Rose Ragsdale (North of 60 Mining News – October 1, 2019)

As the worldwide deficit in zinc production grows, several zinc-lead mining projects across northern Canada await construction of access arteries needed to deliver their ore to market. The projects are among the world’s most attractive and represent a base metals treasure trove coveted by would-be developers and end users alike.

Recent funding from the Canadian government and other public and private sources could unlock the floodgates to critical infrastructure development needed to spur base metals mining in Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

In mid-August, the Government of Canada, two territorial governments and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association agreed to commit more than C$60 million to the Slave Corridor Project, an initiative aimed at kickstarting development in the mineral-rich and underdeveloped Slave Geological Province, with construction of new roads and a deep-water port. Continue Reading →

Global zinc production to rise on the back of elevated prices – by Simone Liedtke ( – October 1, 2019)

Global mined zinc production is expected to continue ramping up over the coming years as elevated prices encourage miners to restart idled capacity and start production at key new mines, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said this week.

In its ‘Outlook for Zinc Mining’, published on Tuesday, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said that, while some capacity had been taken off line during 2015 and 2016, owing to permanent mine closures, the return of some stalled capacity and new projects in key countries would drive growth over the coming quarters.

Fitch Solutions Macro Research forecast that global zinc mine production will increase by 1.6% year-on-year to 13.2-million tonnes this year, before increasing to 15.7-million tonnes by 2028, averaging 1.9% growth a year. Continue Reading →

[Trevali Mining] CEO bullish on buoying miner as zinc sinks – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – September 18, 2019)

The stock market has not been kind of late to Trevali Mining Corp. (TSX:TV). The Vancouver-based zinc miner has doubled in size since acquiring two zinc mines from Glencore Plc in 2017, bumping it to mid-tier miner status, with a global head count of about 2,000.

It now has four operating zinc mines – one in New Brunswick, one in Peru and two in Africa (Namibia and Burkina Faso). Normally, that kind of production growth would be a good reason to hold onto a mining stock. But the company’s share price has recently fallen to below $0.20 from $1.68 at the end of January 2018.

Trevali is not the only zinc miner to experience a stock market pummelling. Glencore PLC (LON:GLEN), one of the world’s largest zinc producers, has suffered a 45% decline in share value since January 2018. Continue Reading →

Britain’s last tin mine could reopen – by Lauren Kent and Nina dos Santos (CNN Business/ – September 13, 2019)

POOL, United Kingdom – Cornwall’s last tin mine closed 20 years ago. Now growing demand for metals from ethical sources could spark a revival in one of Britain’s most deprived regions.

Once the mining center of the world, Cornwall is dotted with more than 2,000 derelict engine houses, many of them along its rugged coastline. Tin mining and smelting in this southwest corner of rural England dates back thousands of years. But in the late 19th century, when new deposits were discovered in East Asia and South America, English tin became uncompetitive and Cornish miners scattered overseas in search of new prospects.

Cornwall has struggled ever since. It is the second-poorest region in Northern Europe, according to EU data, and it struggles with higher rates of child poverty and homelessness than the rest of the United Kingdom. Now its fortunes may be looking up again. Ruined tin mines could be revived because tech companies and carmakers are racing to find ethical sources of the metal. And the last mine to close —South Crofty — could be the first to reopen. Continue Reading →

Column: Tiny tin market sounds a recessionary warning note – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – August 20, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Fears of a global recession are rising. Industrial metals such as copper are struggling to make any price headway as funds take an increasingly negative view of where the global manufacturing economy is heading.

The tiny tin market seems to be already trading as if recession were a reality. London Metal Exchange (LME) tin lurched sharply lower at the beginning of July and has kept falling ever since, touching a fresh three-year low of $16,255 per tonne on Monday.

That’s lower than the Global Financial Crisis sell-off in 2009 and the price is now approaching the decade’s lows seen over the 2015-2016 metallic bear market. Continue Reading →

Poldark and Cornish mining at heart of Perranporth events (The Falmouth Packet – July 29, 2019)

Talks on Poldark and beach art are among the free activities helping families learn more about the the mining history of Perranporth.

Experts have been studying the little-known mining history of the vulnerable cliffs overlooking the beach at Perranporth, to show if the search for tin and copper in the area began in medieval or even prehistoric times.

Thousands of visitors enjoy the town’s beach each year, but many don’t realise that many of the caves and huge rock arches in the cliffs are man-made. The coast was used for mining rather than leisure in the past, with the solid rock being tunnelled through by miners. Continue Reading →

Op – eds: Serbia and Kosovo spar over Trepca Mining Complex (New Delhi Times – February 25, 2019)

New Delhi Times

Distrust between Serbia and Kosovo remains intact two decades after the Kosovo war. In 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. Till date, Serbia refuses to recognise the independence of Kosovo despite the fact that most Member States of European Union (EU) have done so. Moreover, the independence of Kosovo has also been recognised by USA and 100 other countries.

Territorial disputes are at the forefront of strained relations between Serbia and Kosovo. European Union has been acting as a mediator in the conflict. In 2011, EU facilitated the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, which can be classified a process-oriented approach rather than an outcome-oriented approach.

The mediation efforts of EU have produced a series of agreements between the two sides but many conflict issues remain unresolved. The ownership structure of Trepca Mining Complex is one of such issues. Continue Reading →