Copper TC/RC negotiations stall as smelters balk

Nov 27, 2007 | 02:22 PM | Sean Barry

Annual copper treatment and refining charge (TC/RC) contract negotiations between producers and smelters are at an impasse as smelters put up fierce resistance to the lower numbers being offered.

BHP Billiton, majority owner of Minera Escondida Ltda. in Chile, and Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. have yet to strike benchmark agreements with Japanese smelters as talks earlier this month collapsed, according to traders.

Smelters are arguing that the initial TC/RC contract offers by miners, which are understood to be around $35 per tonne/3.5 cents a pound, are too low and would not cover the increasing costs smelters face to refine metal.....

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