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PMX adds surcharge after Kennecott outage

Keywords: Tags  PMX Industries, copper surcharge, Kennecott Utah Copper, Bingham Canyon Mine, copper cathode, fabrication charges

NEW YORK — PMX Industries Inc. will be adding a copper surcharge to its products after a wall slide at Kennecott Utah Copper LLC’s Bingham Canyon Mine forced it to locate alternative sources of cathode.

Kennecott, PMX’s main supplier of cathode, declared force majeure earlier this month after the wall slide forced the company to suspend mining at Bingham Canyon (, April 16).

Kennecott does not anticipate being able to make shipments of copper cathode beyond May.

"Thus, the company will be adding a 7-cent-per-pound copper surcharge effective July 1," PMX said.

Kennecott, a division of London-based Rio Tinto Plc, historically has supplied PMX with almost all the copper cathode it needs, the company said.

"Since the remaining U.S. mines were already booked through the end of 2013, the company must rely on foreign supply sources to meet its customer obligations," PMX said.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based alloy maker has successfully negotiated new copper cathode contracts with multiple suppliers, but at an increased cost, it said.

PMX also will increase fabrication pricing, which it was in the process of reviewing when the Kennecott outage occurred, it said.

"The company is subject to continued cost pressures—including wages, health care, utilities and transportation—which consistently erode stagnant fabrication margins," PMX said.

While this issue is separate from cathode supply, it is equally challenging, the company said. "Therefore, PMX will also be increasing fabrication pricing between 5 and 8 percent starting with July 1 shipments."

The move follows increases by Louisville, Ky.-based Olin Brass Inc. (, April 15) and Buffalo, N.Y.-based Aurubis Buffalo Inc. (, April 23).

PMX produces a range of copper and brass alloys, including high-precision connector alloys and microbial copper alloys.

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