Archive | Zinc and Lead

Nutrient-Poor Farms Get a Vitamin Boost From Zinc Mines – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – April 18, 2017)

Injecting an industrial metal back into the ground could prove a boon for farmers and miners alike. The metal is zinc. Used mostly to reduce corrosion in iron and steel, zinc also is needed in trace amounts to keep humans and plants healthy.

Without it in their diets, people are prone to diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria, and crops are stunted. The trouble is that farmland in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America is increasingly zinc deficient, leading to more than 450,000 deaths annually of children under age five, a 2008 study in The Lancet showed.

While use in agriculture remains small, sales of zinc-infused fertilizers from companies including Mosaic Co. are growing. Farmers are trying to boost yields by reviving soils deprived of nutrients by overuse and a changing climate. Continue Reading →

Commodity hedge fund Blenheim sees upside in copper, zinc -by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – March 31, 2017)

Copper and zinc are the two standouts among a brightening outlook for base metals, with supply constraints and China-driven demand set to lift prices in coming months, U.S. commodity hedge fund Blenheim Capital Management said.

After a near six-year downturn that bottomed early last year, industrial metals are being driven more by supply and demand fundamentals than global monetary trends, base metals analyst Ingrid Sternby told Reuters in a rare interview.

The famously private Blenheim sees interest in commodities finally picking up and Sternby said there’s now “a good story to tell.” “We have April ahead of us where usually demand is better. I’d say there is fair chance that we are going to see some better price action ahead. Fundamental stories are promising and I would expect more money coming into the sector,” she said. Continue Reading →

New mine in Iran to add 800,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate every year – by Andrew Topf ( – March 26, 2017)

Zinc has rallied of late, being the best performing commodity on the London Metal Exchange for the week March 13-17. Up 12% year to date, the corrosion-resistant metal is being buoyed by record refined output in China and tight supply after a number of mine closures.

News out of Iran this week, however, could stem price gains, especially if more zinc mines come on stream around the same time as plans to develop the massive Mehdiabad zinc mine, come to fruition.

Reuters reported that Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organisation (IMIDRO) signed a $1-billion deal with private investors over the weekend to build the mine, which is expected to become operational in four years and produce an annual 800,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate. Continue Reading →

Canadian mining companies turn bullish on Congo, despite its violence – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – March 20, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG – The Democratic Republic of the Congo, the vast war-torn country in the heart of Africa, has fascinated the world’s miners for decades. Its reputation for violence and corruption has long deterred most investors – but a growing number of Canadian miners are now convinced that the rewards outweigh the risks.

Companies such as Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., Banro Corp. and Alphamin Resources Corp. are expanding their operations in Congo, betting that the country’s huge mineral resources and improving transport links will unlock profits. Political unrest and lawlessness, however, are still major concerns for many companies in the country.

Congo’s enormous mineral wealth has been estimated to be worth trillions of dollars. With more than 1,100 minerals and precious metals identified, including the world’s largest cobalt reserves and huge deposits of gold and copper, it has “the potential to become one of the richest countries on the African continent and a driver of African growth,” the World Bank says. Continue Reading →

Why Teck May Have Most to Gain If Zinc Refiners Are Squeezed – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – March 14, 2017)

Teck Resources Ltd. may stand to gain the most of any mining company should a supply shortfall in zinc force smelters to slash the fees they charge miners to refine the metal.

The Vancouver-based company mines more zinc than it refines, resulting in a net-“long” position in unrefined zinc that’s the largest in the world, Teck has said, citing Wood Mackenzie data.

Tight zinc supplies have supported prices, and may push processing fees lower as smelters compete for ore. Global output of refined zinc trailed consumption by 286,000 metric tons in 2016, the International Lead and Zinc Study Group said in a report Feb. 15. Zinc has surged about 50 percent in the past year, and posted the best return in the Bloomberg Commodity Index of raw materials. Continue Reading →

Glencore tightens grip on zinc through deal with Canada’s Trevali – by Barbara Lewis and Eric Onstad (Reuters U.S. – March 14, 2017)

LONDON – Miner-trader Glencore (GLEN.L) has increased its control of core commodity zinc through a deal with Canada’s Trevali (TV.TO) in which it is selling shares in two mines and helping to create the first pure zinc company with wide geographical reach.

Glencore’s share price has risen around 13 percent this year, adding to gains of more than 200 percent in 2016 when it rebounded from a commodities price crash. Its CEO Ivan Glasenberg has said it is well-placed for deals, which analysts say are as likely to involve commodity offtake or tactical disposals as acquisitions.

Through a $400 million transaction, announced late on Monday, Glencore is selling 80 percent and 90 percent stakes respectively in a mine in Namibia and another in Burkina Faso to Trevali with which it has a long-standing relationship. Continue Reading →

Iran signs $1 billion deal to develop Mehdiabad zinc mine – by Maytaal Angel (Reuters U.S. – March 13, 2017)

LONDON – Iran has signed a $1 billion deal with private investors to develop Mehdiabad, one of the world’s largest zinc mines, which it expects to go on stream in the next four years and produce 800,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate per year.

The state-owned Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organisation (IMIDRO) said in a weekend statement it signed the deal with a consortium of six private companies, led by Iran’s Mobin Mining and Construction Company.

According to media reports, Mehdiabad has zinc ore grades of between 2 to 4 percent, meaning 800,000 tonnes of zinc conentrate a year would add between 16,000 to 32,000 tonnes of refined zinc to the 13.7 million tonne per year global market. Continue Reading →

Teck Bullish on Coal, But Not Enough to Add Production Capacity – by Danielle Bochove and Natalie Obiko Pearson (Bloomberg News – February 27, 2017)

Teck Resources Ltd. is bullish on steelmaking-coal prices, but not enough to add production capacity, said the head of Canada’s largest diversified miner.

“I’m feeling excited,” Teck Chief Executive Officer Don Lindsay said Monday in a Bloomberg TV interview. “In the last 10 days we’ve seen a clear change in direction in coal prices,” with a surge in forward prices for the material that’s used to make steel, he said.

The possibility that China could reinstate coal output restrictions at the end of March and its decision to stop importing coal from North Korea are supportive of prices, Lindsay said at the BMO Capital Markets metals and mining conference in Hollywood, Florida. Continue Reading →

Analysis – Zinc rally may have further to run as supply shortfall bites – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.K. – February 27, 2017)

MELBOURNE- London zinc prices CMZN3 have nearly doubled over the past 13 months and are closing in on nine-year highs, but signs of tightening in the global market for refined zinc means the rally may have further to run.

Zinc bulls pushed prices higher after the closure of several giant zinc mines last year led to a steep drop in global ore supply, setting the stage for a shortage of the metal used to rust-proof steel.

There are now signs that shortage is materialising, with global stocks shrinking and prices for spot metal rising, just as post-holiday demand picks up in China and a strike at North America’s second-largest zinc plant further cuts supply. Continue Reading →

Enormous global demand on way for copper, platinum, zinc – Friedland – by Martin Creamer ( – February 8, 2017)

CAPE TOWN ( – Enormous global demand is building up for copper, platinum and zinc, driven by new technology, mitigation of health risks in hospitals and agricultural augmentation, Ivanhoe Mines executive chairperson Robert Friedland said on Wednesday.

In a comprehensive address to the Investing in African Mining Indaba, Friedland used statistics from credible global institutions and well-recorded technological advances to highlight major looming copper shortages, strong upcoming platinum demand for hydrogen fuel cells and the practice of adding zinc to soils to grow food, which promotes good health and renders the metal nonrecyclable.

He flashed on to a big screen graphics of platinum-catalysed fuel cell vehicles needed to do the main job of stopping tiny particles in the air of major urban cities from entering lungs, getting into the blood stream and then going permanently beyond the blood brain barrier. Continue Reading →

Growing impatient, Nahanni Butte starts building own road to mine – by Mark Rendell (CBC News North – January 30, 2017)

After waiting nearly three years for the approval of an all-season road into the heart of Nahanni National Park, the Nahanni Butte Dene Band began cutting its own path last week. The proposed road to the Prairie Creek zinc mine has been limping through the Mackenzie Valley Review Board’s environmental assessment process since mid-2014.

“We’ve been waiting well over two years for this so-called permitting process to give the green-light for the road,” said Mark Pocklington, the communities senior administrative officer. “And, in this process, the review board and others have put demands on further and further studies.”

Growing impatient, Nahanni Butte Chief Peter Marcellais gave the go-ahead to community members to start cutting a trail across Indian Affairs Branch land — set aside by the federal government for the band’s residential use — near the community. Continue Reading →

Hudbay mine closures will mean major reductions at Flin Flon surface operations – by Jonathon Naylor (Flin Flon Reminder – January 21, 2017)

Hundreds of job reductions are expected at Hudbay’s Flin Flon operations by 2019 or 2020, with the company hoping retirements and a proposal to maintain the zinc plant can minimize job losses.

While Hudbay has developed projections around job losses and layoffs, Daniel Weinerman, manager of investor relations and corporate communications, stressed all figures under discussion are preliminary estimates.

At best, the news will mean a reduction of approximately 500 jobs: Hudbay estimates 200 will come from layoffs, with the rest from attrition as workers leave or retire. At worst, Flin Flon could lose 800 to 900 jobs, leaving the city with a small fraction of the company’s Manitoba workforce. Continue Reading →

Boliden to invest €44m in Tara Mines after finding new resources – by Charlie Taylor (Irish Times – January 11, 2017)

Boliden, the Swedish owner of Tara Mines in Co Meath, is to invest €44 million in the site after identifying new mineral resources and deciding to expand the mine’s tailing dam.

The mine, which is just outside Navan, is Europe’s largest, and the world’s ninth largest zinc mine. It currently employs over 600. Production at Tara Mines began in 1977, and since then more than 80 million tonnes of ore have been mined.

Boliden Mines said a recent exploration has resulted in the discovery of a new mineralisation Tara Deep. An extension of the capacity of the tailings dam, which currently limits Tara’s lifespan, has also been decided. The new tailings dam will have sufficient capacity for production at current levels until 2026, Boliden said. Continue Reading →

Arizona shares tumble on speculation – by Salma Tarikh (Northern Miner – January 1, 2017)

Global mining news

Arizona Mining (TSX: AZ) shares slightly recovered on promising assays from the Taylor zinc-lead sulphide deposit at its Hermosa property, following a sharp decline after a mining publication raised concerns about the marketability of Taylor’s zinc concentrates, before sliding again.

Located 10 km from the town of Patagonia and 80 km southeast of Tucson, Ariz., the high-grade zinc deposit contains 28.3 million indicated tonnes grading 10.9% zinc equivalent and 75 million inferred tonnes at 11.1% zinc equivalent, using a 4% zinc equivalent cut-off grade. Exploration success at Taylor this year coupled with higher zinc prices have skyrocketed the company’s shares.

On Dec. 7, the stock touched a 52-week high of $3.49, up 947% from its 2015 close of 32.5¢. A day earlier the company had closed a $36-million bought deal with underwriters led by Scotia Capital, National Bank Financial, RBC Capital Markets, TD Securities and Raymond James. It sold 11.8 million shares at $3.05 apiece. Continue Reading →

Glencore’s Command of the Zinc Trade – by Tim Puko (Wall Street Journal – January 3, 2017)

Just one global trading house may determine whether 2016’s best-performing commodity keeps rallying in the new year.

Glencore PLC has become the big focus of zinc traders and analysts by sitting on 500,000 tons of annual production it shut as the commodity markets busted back in 2015. Now zinc is leading the broad commodity rebound — up 60% and the best performer in the Bloomberg Commodity Index in 2016 – making analysts question a restart from Glencore.

Glencore’s shut-in supply accounts for about 4% of world production and may make up the entire shortfall in the zinc market these days. Analysts put zinc’s supply shortage less than 400,000 tons. Continue Reading →