BHP annual copper TC/RC talks with Japan smelters at standstill

Dec 10, 2007 | 10:19 AM | Sean Barry

Annual talks between BHP Billiton and Japanese smelters on copper treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) have ended in stalemate, with smelters insisting on higher numbers following a recent run up in spot prices.

BHP Billiton, majority owner of Minera Escondida Ltda. in Chile, is pushing for 2008 agreements somewhere in line with a recent deal with an Indian smelter, believed to be Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd., for $45 a tonne/4.5 cents a pound with no price participation.

But smelters are holding out for improved TC/RCs, which miners pay smelters to turn concentrates into refined metal, arguing that the copper concentrate deficit expected to develop through next year might not be as severe as first thought, trade sources said.....

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