Smelters gain upper hand in 2008 zinc talks

Dec 07, 2007 | 03:51 PM | Meghann McDonell

Annual zinc treatment charge (TC) negotiations are expected to swing in favor of smelters thanks to an anticipated concentrate surplus and lower zinc prices, according to market sources.

TC negotiations between several large miners and smelters are under way, sources said. And although figures have not been disclosed, a senior executive at Teck Cominco Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia, hinted that this year's talks have shifted in favor of the smelters.

"Because we're in the middle of negotiations I'm constrained from what I can say, but certainly in the case of zinc we've seen treatment charges moving more in the favor of smelters of late," Ron Vance, senior vice president of corporate development at Teck Cominco, told attendees at the Citi Basic Materials Symposium in New York. "Certainly there is this perception at least that there will be some surplus of zinc concentrates available over the next year or so."....

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