Archive | Zinc and Lead

COLUMN-As Glencore restarts capacity, is time up for zinc rally? – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – December 14, 2017)

LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – When Glencore announced it was curtailing 500,000 tonnes of capacity at its zinc mines in October 2015, the price of three-month zinc on the London Metal Exchange was $1,700 per tonne.

The price is now $3,175 per tonne, hovering within striking distance of last month’s 10-year high of $3,326. Glencore can’t take full credit for the bull surge of the last two years but its curtailments acted as a powerful accelerator to a structural shift towards supply deficit.

So what happens next, now the company has just announced the first restart at the Lady Loretta mine in Australia? The market seems unfazed. Indeed, LME zinc rallied on the news, the bear sting masked by a headline decline in forecast production next year. Continue Reading →

Osisko Metals consolidates Bathurst Mining Camp – by Trish Sayell (Northern Miner – November 30, 2017)

In the last year, newly minted Osisko Metals (TSXV: OM; US-OTC: BWMXF) has picked up over 50,000 hectares in New Brunswick’s Bathurst mining camp, the third largest volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) camp in the world.

“We’ve been scouring the base metal space looking for new opportunity,” Jeff Hussey, the junior’s president and CEO, told analysts and investors during a presentation at Red Cloud’s recent annual fall conference. “We’re trying to get a cluster of deposits within a 25-30 km trucking distance that would feed a central concentrator.”

The company’s focus is on zinc, a base metal whose price has doubled to about US$1.43 per lb. over the last twelve months, and one which Hussey knows well after spending 20 years at Noranda, including a stint working at the Brunswick No. 12 mine in the Bathurst camp. Continue Reading →

Canadian Zinc hopes to start production at Prairie Creek mine in 2020 – by Randi Beers (CBC News North – December 1, 2017)

The Canadian Zinc Corporation believes production could start at Prairie Creek Mine by August 2020. This is according to results of a feasibility study commissioned by the company, which was released Oct. 31.

The study, put together by mining consulting firm AMC Mining Consultants, estimates the Prairie Creek mine could pull in $1.2 billion over its 15-year mine life and create 330 full-time jobs in the Dehcho region.

All of this is dependant on two major things, according to Alan Taylor, chief operating officer of Canadian Zinc. The company must get final approval to build an all-season road to the mine — which is at an advanced stage of construction already — and it must raise the money needed to both build the road and revive the mine. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Zinc market focus turns to new supply, but don’t forget Quebec – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – November 15, 2017)

LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) – The Dugald River zinc mine in the Australian state of Queensland made its maiden shipment of concentrates earlier this month. Once ramped up to full speed, the mine will produce around 170,000 tonnes per year of contained metal.

It is the most tangible sign yet of the coming wave of new zinc supply, timed to capitalise on decade-high prices and a structural shortfall of raw materials. All over the world, it seems, geologists are revisiting old mine plans in a collective new zinc rush.

They’re even looking to revive the giant Century mine in Australia. Once operated by Dugald River’s owner MMG, Century’s closure in 2015 was a symbolic milestone on the road to global market deficit. Continue Reading →

Zinc mine in St. Lawrence County to reopen after being closed for decade – by Susan Mende (Watertown Daily Times – November 2, 2017)

FOWLER — After sitting idle for nearly a decade, the former St. Lawrence Zinc Co. mine is being refurbished and is expected to start extracting zinc early next year.

Titan Mining Corp., Toronto, recently secured the remaining $50 million needed to get the mine operating by selling 35.75 million stock shares at a price of $1.40 a share on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Keith A. Boyle, Titan’s chief operating officer, said the financing was the last major hurdle. The mine will be called Empire State Mines and will operate as a subsidiary of Titan. “That was the final piece,” Mr. Boyle said Wednesday. “We are off and running. There’s nothing left to do on the financial side.” Continue Reading →

Xstrata Zinc Brunswick Mine, Bathurst,New Brunswick-“End of an Era” documentary by Glen Ferguson (April 2013)

“End of an Era” Brunswick Mine. Shot and edited by Glen Ferguson.

A historical look at Northern New Brunswick’s, Brunswick Mine.
Once the world largest zinc mine, this long time economic staple our the region has recently closed.

Over 50 years of unique history that changed the provinces Northern communities for ever and Over 7500 employees, thousands of contractors, students etc. worked the mine over its life span.

Learning From the Fight Against Lead – by Faye Flam (Bloomberg News – October 17, 2017)

As policymakers work to curb mercury pollution, they should consider the history of another dangerous metal.

According to some estimates, the use of leaded gasoline stole five or more IQ points from those of us who grew up in big U.S. cities during the 1960s and early 1970s, when contamination peaked. Studies show that children with higher levels of lead in their baby teeth do worse on tests of reading ability, grammatical reasoning, vocabulary, reaction times and hand-eye coordination.

And the doses back then were massive — typical kids had blood levels five times what’s known to cause brain damage. In case there was any doubt, newer studies confirm that lead’s damaging effects on children are permanent.

Eventually, science moved policymakers to take action. Now people around the world face the same challenge with mercury — another metal that’s toxic to children’s brains. Do we stall and debate while risking harm, or act with a greater level of precaution? The lessons of the past offer some guidance. Continue Reading →

Zinc price spike sparks flurry of miner listings – by Nicole Mordant (Reuters India – October 13, 2017)

VANCOUVER, Oct 13 (Reuters) – A doubling in zinc prices since late 2015 and strong outlook for the commodity has fueled a flurry of zinc miner listings on the Toronto Stock Exchange as companies cash in on investor demand for producers of the metal.

Brazil-based Nexa Resources, a top five global zinc producer, is seeking to raise up to $651 million in an initial public offering in Toronto and New York in what would be the world’s biggest zinc-focused IPO since China’s Western Mining Co Ltd in 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data.

At least three other zinc miners, including Titan Mining and Dublin-based Group Eleven Resources Corp, are planning listings on the Toronto Stock Exchange or the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V) market for small start-ups, according to company filings. Continue Reading →

Gold, zinc explorers spearhead reversal of five-year global exploration downturn – by Samantha Herbst ( – October 10, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Boosted by increased exploration efforts in the gold and zinc sectors, the global nonferrous exploration budget is up in 2017 – for the first time since 2012 – by more than 14%, year-on-year, to $7.95-billion, according to new analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The twenty-eighth edition of the firm’s ‘Corporate Exploration Strategies’ (CES) report reveals that global gold budgets are up 22% year-on-year, while zinc-focused producers and junior explorers have boosted the zinc budget by 29% year-on-year to $489-million, based on improved zinc prices since early 2016.

“We know that the juniors have endured the worst of the downturn since 2012, accounting for most of the 40% drop in the number of active explorers over the past five years. Continue Reading →

Zinc Prices Have Rallied So Much Even Miners Are Complaining – by Kevin Crowley (Bloomberg News – October 5, 2017)

Zinc’s dramatic surge to the highest in a decade might boost profits in the short term but isn’t all good news for producers, according to Vedanta Resources Plc.

Buyers are struggling to make money at current levels after prices more than doubled since the start of 2016, Deshnee Naidoo, the chief executive officer of the company’s Vedanta Zinc International unit, said in an interview.

“The whole market is out of whack,” Naidoo said in Johannesburg on Thursday. “In the short term it’s a good price, but it’s not a sustainable price. There needs to be an incentive price for galvanizers, alloy producers, smelters.” Continue Reading →

Glencore to wield power on zinc – by Stephen Bartholomeusz (The Australian – October 4, 2017)

Glencore’s decision to invest up to $US956 million to greatly increase its shareholding in a Peruvian zinc miner may have been motivated by an insight it gained during its dark days in 2015.

Overnight Glencore announced it had reached agreement with shareholders of Volcan Compania Minera, one of the world’s largest producers of zinc, lead and silver, to acquire 27 per cent of the group’s class A shares for $US531 million.

It will make an offer to other Volcan shareholders for up to 48 per cent of the class A shares, which would lift the outlay closer to $US1 billion. Depending on the level of acceptances, Glencore would end up with between 48 per cent and 66 per cent of the class A shares, which have voting rights. It had a pre-existing holding of about 18 per cent of those shares. Continue Reading →

Glencore to spend $956M to increase stake in Peru’s largest zinc producer – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – October 2, 2017)

Miner and commodities trader Glencore (LON:GLEN) is buying 26.73% of the voting shares in Peru’s largest zinc producer, Volcan Compañía Minera SAA, in a deal worth at least $531 million.

The Swiss company will pay $1.215 per class A common share, which will help it boost its current 7.68% interest in Volcan and which could cost Glencore as much as $956 million, depending on the level of acceptances.

“Volcan’s operations are located in the richest polymetallic production area in Peru, producing some of the highest quality zinc concentrates,” it said in the statement. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Zinc spreads explode as tightness bites London shorts – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – September 26, 2017)

LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Zinc bulls have been waiting a long time for this, but the slow-burning supply crunch has at last travelled all the way down the supply chain to bite holders of short positions on the London Metal Exchange (LME). LME time spreads exploded last week and they’ve grown wilder still this week.

The benchmark cash to three-month spread CMZN0-3 closed on Monday at a backwardation of $66 a tonne. That’s the widest cash premium since January 2007. Contraction of the forward curve reflects acute tightness on the cash date itself as evidenced by continuing turbulence within even the shortest-dated of LME spreads.

With exchange stocks falling and more metal being cancelled before physical load-out, those who have taken short positions look set for a torrid time. However, this sort of extreme tightness on the LME could yet prove a double-edged sword for bulls if it sucks “hidden” metal out of off-market storage. Continue Reading →

Rally in zinc price raises spectre of substitution – by Eric Onstad (Reuters U.S. – September 19, 2017)

LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – A sharp rally in zinc prices is posing the threat that industrial users will find ways to substitute the metal with cheaper alternatives or use less, curbing overall consumption.

High prices may also dampen a nascent move by Chinese automakers to use more zinc for galvanising, while the Western car sector could employ thinner coats of zinc alloys to help meet tough emission rules by cutting vehicle weight.

“We expect zinc prices to carry on going up for at least another 12 months, so I think there’s clearly a growing risk of demand destruction in some shape or form,” said analyst Andrew Thomas at consultancy Wood Mackenzie. Benchmark zinc on the London Metal Exchange has doubled since January last year, hitting a peak of $3,231.75 a tonne in late August, the highest in a decade. Continue Reading →

Teck ups Red Dog guidance; outlines significant exploration target for Aktigiruq – by Henry Lazenby ( – September 19, 2017)

VANCOUVER ( – Canada’s largest diversified miner Teck Resources has added about 50 000 t of zinc output to the full-year guidance for its Red Dog mine, in Alaska.

Vancouver-headquartered Teck advised that improving recoveries in the last few months has prompted the company to lift guidance to a range of 525 000 t to 550 000 t of zinc, up from the most recent guidance range of 475 000 t to 500 000 t of zinc.

The company increased production because of changes in mine sequencing and improved metallurgical recoveries, enabling higher-grade mill feed with a greater percentage of ore from the Qanaiyaq pit in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Teck expects yearly zinc output at Red Dog over the next five years to range between 475 000 t and 550 000 t of zinc. Continue Reading →