Archive | Zinc and Lead

As 777 winds down, Hudbay looks to Lalor – by D’Arcy Jenish (Canadian Mining Journal – June 2017)

For nearly a century – 90 years in December, to be precise – Hudbay Minerals has been the cornerstone and lifeblood of the northern Manitoba community of Flin Flon. But change is coming to this quintessential one-industry, resource-based Canadian town.

In 2020, Hudbay is scheduled to close the 777 mine – its only remaining mining operation in the immediate vicinity of Flin Flon. Meantime, the company is continuing to develop and expand its base and precious metal Lalor mine, which began producing in late 2014 and is located in Snow Lake, 215 km east of Flin Flon.

“We have undertaken a program of re-evaluating exploration opportunities with the Flin Flon area,” says Cashel Meagher, Hudbay’s senior vice-president and chief operating officer. “The obvious future in northern Manitoba will divert from Flin Flon to Lalor. We want to perpetuate the life of the Lalor mine.” Continue Reading →

From Tesla Cars to Underwear, Metal Makers Seek New Markets – by Susanne Barton, Mark Burton and Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – June 13, 2017)

The world’s biggest mining companies would like you to put more zinc in your zucchini and copper in your socks and dental floss.

While builders and manufacturers remain the biggest metals users, producers are confronting the end of a Chinese industrial boom that fueled surging global demand and prices. For more than a decade, the country dominated markets as it sucked up raw materials to build factories, homes and power lines. Now, with the industrial engine cooling, mine owners are looking for new uses to spur sales like in fertilizer, electric-car batteries and salmon cages.

“Traditional demand isn’t going to fall off a cliff,” said Paul Gait, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. in London. “But it’s true that no one wants to hear about industrial production growth or Chinese cement demand anymore.” Continue Reading →

Zinc, tin, nickel, platinum evoke most optimism at Junior Indaba – by Martin Creamer ( – June 8, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG ( – UK market intelligence firm CRU is most optimistic about the prospects for zinc, tin, nickel and, to a certain extent, platinum over a 12-month time horizon and named copper, bauxite, nickel and gold as good commodities to be in over the longer term.

CRU principal consultant Ben Jones told the Junior Indaba in Johannesburg on Thursday that he expected a divergence across bulk commodities and base metals. Jones formed part of a panel discussion led by Standard Bank mining head Sandra du Toit and participated in by Regarding Capital Management chairperson Piet Viljoen and Standard Bank mining research head Tim Clark.

Clark said heart had to be taken from the mining industry finding the bottom, after a period of cost cutting, and experiencing a rebound and a restart because the waning of supply had brought it into the present healthier state. Continue Reading →

Glencore threat to quite Mt Isa because of energy woes – by John McCarthy (Brisbane Courier-Mail – May 30, 2017)

GLENCORE and the State Government are trying to resolve a crippling energy problem which could force the loss of 2000 jobs in north Queensland. The mining giant has again threatened to close its Mt Isa copper operations because of the high energy costs which have combined with high rail and labour costs.

It made the threat in 2016 over the high cost of operating the assets because of environmental conditions and earlier this month said energy costs were at the heart of the latest threat. The company held talks with the State Government on Tuesday as part of ongoing negotiations to resolve the issues.

It said the State Government had made a significant effort to engage on the issue but the company’s focus was on investigating options for secure, affordable and reliable energy and electricity supply at Mt Isa and Townsville to service its operations. Continue Reading →

[Ireland Mining] Glencore starts drilling again at Pallas Green – by Gavin McLoughlin (Irish Independent – May 28, 2017)

Mining giant Glencore has re-started drilling at its Pallas Green prospect in Limerick, the Sunday Independent has learnt.

The project had been put into abeyance for a number of years, but Glencore has moved eight rigs on to the site in recent weeks.

The company, which has had a turbulent run on the back of falling commodity prices and a large debt pile, recently declared “job done” on efforts to cut its debt. A Glencore spokesman confirmed that the company had engaged a local firm for drilling at Pallas Green. Continue Reading →

Pasinex shines at Pinargozu mine in Turkey – by Salma Tarikh (Northern Miner – May 1, 2017)

Pasinex Resources — the 50%-owner of the high-grade Pinargozu zinc mine in southern Turkey — has seen its shares climb more than 300% over the past year. Driving the share-price appreciation have been improvements at the Pinargozu mine and the soaring zinc price following supply shortages.

In a telephone interview from Turkey, Pasinex’s founder and CEO Steve Williams says the company has just started reaping the production benefits at Pinargozu.

“The big thing with us was that the last few years were terrible and tough times. And we took the decision to build the mine. This year is where we are really going to benefit … And we expect to show the market that we will have a very good year of zinc production.” Continue Reading →

Canada’s Trevali picks up Glencore zinc mines in Africa – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 18, 2017)

Trevali Mining’s (TSX:TV) shareholders approved Thursday a planned acquisition of Glencore’s two African zinc mines, in a transaction that makes of the Canadian miner one of the few multi-asset, low-cost global zinc producers.

The acquisition of about 80% of Rosh Pinah mine in Namibia and a 90% stake in in the Perkoa mine in Burkina Faso, will help the Vancouver-based firm’s total production double to about 410 million pounds per year.

The deal also includes gives Trevali an effective 39.24% interest in the Gergarub project in Namibia, an option to acquire the Heath Steele property in Canada, and certain related exploration properties and assets, it said in the statement. Continue Reading →

Zinc miners leverage scarcity to flex muscles over smelters – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – May 15, 2017)

LONDON – If there were any doubt that the zinc supply chain is tightening, it should be dispelled by this year’s benchmark smelter treatment charge. The treatment charge is the fee paid by a miner to a smelter for converting mined concentrates into refined metal and it is probably the best indicator of raw material availability; high during times of surplus and low during times of scarcity.

This year’s headline fee of $172 per ton is the lowest in a decade, a firm swing of the negotiating pendulum in favor of miners and a tangible sign that the much-anticipated concentrates crunch has arrived.

Indeed, miners have used the squeeze on availability to make what might turn out to be a historic change in how these annual benchmark contracts are structured. Zinc bulls have been waiting a long time for this supply squeeze and they may have to wait a bit longer before it moves from raw materials to refined metal parts of the chain. Continue Reading →

[Pasinex Resources] High Risk, High Reward – Reaping The Benefits – by Peter Kennedy ( – May 10, 2017)

Starting a junior exploration company is always a high risk venture, even for the most mining-savvy entrepreneurs. But it is a move that is paying off for Pasinex Resources Ltd. (CSE: C.PSE, PSXRF, Forum) CEO Steve Williams and the company’s financial backers.

Not only has Pasinex been able to get its high grade Turkish zinc mine into production without going through all the usual development and financing hoops, it has also ridden the bull market for zinc metal that many analysts say will continue for another couple of years.

After posting a profit of $826,906 or $0.01 per share in 2016, the company is quickly transforming itself into a mid-tier zinc producer and looking forward to discovering more metal in the vicinity of its flagship Pinargozu mine. Continue Reading →

MISSOURI LEGENDS: Joplin – A Lead Mining Maven (Legends of America – August 2015)

When traveling Route 66, the path from Webb City to Joplin is seamless, as Webb City has virtually become a suburb of its larger sister city.

Joplin, Missouri, the self-touted lead mining capital of the world, was first settled by the Reverend Harris G. Joplin in 1839. The minister held church services in his home for other area pioneers long before the city of Joplin was ever formed. Before the Civil War, lead was discovered in the Joplin Creek Valley; but, mining operations were interrupted by the war.

In 1870, a large lead strike occurred which brought many miners to the area and numerous mining camps sprang up. Soon, a man named John C. Cox filed a town site plan on the east side of the valley which was quickly populated by a number of new businesses. The town was named for Joplin Creek, which was called such, after the Reverend Harris G. Joplin. Continue Reading →

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 →