Monthly Metal Review
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Lead and Zinc (December 2010)
In London, the Lead cash settlement price increased to US$ 2,587 per ton while the Zinc cash settlement price rose to US$ 2,432.5 per ton on the 31st of December 2010.
In Russia, Metropol Group has initiated construction of a 1 million tpy plant at the Ozernoye lead and zinc operation in Russia’s Buryatia Republic. The Ozernoye plant is scheduled to be commissioned in 2013 and expected to reach full production of 740,000 tpy plus 110,000 tpy of lead concentrate. The concentrate will contain at least 53% zinc and 51% lead, respectively.
In Germany, Recylex announced on 10th December that production has resumed at its Nordenham lead smelter in Germany, having been idled since late November by a ‘technical incident’ that damaged a part of the Ausmelt technology furnace. Nordenham typically produces between 100-120,000 tpy of refined lead.
In China, Minshan Nonferrous Metals has commissioned a new SKS technology 150,000 tpy refined lead capacity plant at Anyang in Henan province. Once the new plant is operating at full production, the company will close the existing 60,000 tpy lead plant that uses a sinter and blast furnace.
Yichun Jinlin Mining is building a new 80,000 tpy refined lead capacity plant in Yichun city in Heilongjiang province. The project was first agreed back in March 2007, but there has been progress this year with the company completing construction of the acid plant, power station and electrolytic plant. The smelter represents a move downstream for the company, which is mainly engaged in zinc/lead mining.
In Spain, Lundin Mining Corp said on Thursday it has curtailed operation at its Aguablanca Mine in the Extremadura region of Spain due to very heavy rains. The company said its operations will be suspended pending an initial technical investigation with a decision expected in the next few weeks. The company also provided outlook for 2011, saying it expects higher copper, zinc and lead production in 2011 compared to the previous year.
Lundin Mining has published production guidance for its operations in 2011. It expects its Neves-Corvo mine in Portugal to produce 25,000 tons of zinc in concentrate, up from 6,000 tons in 2010. Elsewhere, zinc-in-concentrate production at its Zinkgruvan mine in Sweden to rise by 3,000 tons to 78,000 tons as a result of increased throughput. Finally, it expects its Galmoy mine in Ireland to ship 17,000 tons of zinc contained in remnant high-grade ore for processing at an adjacent mine (Anglo’s Lisheen), up from projected sales of 12,000 tons this year.
In USA, Horsehead Corporation has restarted its sixth zinc smelting furnace at its Monaca plant in Pennsylvania. The company had previously closed the furnace in response to an explosion at the furnace on 22 July. It expects to return to full production in early January 2011.
LME Lead stocks rose to 208,550 tons and zinc stocks to 701,425 tons.