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Nyrstar expects to log big margins on zinc byproducts

Keywords: Tags  Nyrstar, zinc, germanium, germanium leach, indium, tellurium, Suzy Waite

NEW YORK — Nyrstar NV expects to make significant margins on a number of byproducts at its global mines this year.

The Balen, Belgium-based company’s smelter in Clarksville, Tenn., has begun producing germanium leach, an intermediate product of germanium, from the mine’s zinc concentrate. Germanium is used in fiber optics and semiconductors, and Nyrstar expects the production and sale of germanium leach to "generate significant margins."

In addition, Nyrstar commissioned an indium plant at its smelter in Auby, France, in the second quarter of 2012, producing 13 tonnes of indium last year. Nyrstar expects increased volumes this year.

Nyrstar also began producing intermediate tellurium concentrate at its smelter in Port Pirie, Australia, in the first half of 2012, and will continue to ramp up production this year.

End uses for indium and tellurium include advanced electronics and solar cell applications.

The company reported a €95-million ($127.3-million) net loss in 2012 in contrast to net income of €36 million in 2011 (, Feb. 7).

The company reported a €95 million ($127.3 million) net loss in 2012 compared with a net income of €36 million in 2011 (, Feb. 7).

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