AMSTERDAM Nyrstar NVs new commercial general manager will strengthen the companys marketing functions ahead of the termination of its European zinc offtake deal with GlencoreXstrata at the end of the year and the closure of the Century Mine in 2016, he told AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.
Rebuilding the companys overall marketing capacity will also be a top priority as the company looks to extract value from a post-supercycle metals market, Bob Katsiouleris, the incoming commercial general manager, said.
Katsiouleris joined Zurich-based Nyrstar in January after serving as chief commercial officer of Rio Tintos industrial minerals business (amm.com, Jan. 3).
"The main aim is to bring back the marketing capability we once had. For instance, we have an opportunity post-Glencore to do that by building that capability in house ourselves; but equally, the partnership pool is a good one," Katsiouleris said on the sidelines of Metal Bulletins 17th Annual Zinc and Its Markets Seminar in Amsterdam.
Nyrstar has been approached by about a dozen partiesincluding traders, banks, funds and zinc consumerswith proposals to market all or part of the 350,000 tonnes per year of commodity-grade zinc that the company produces at its European smelters.
While it examines those proposals, it is also simultaneously exploring the option of marketing the material itself and aims to make a decision within the next four to six weeks, Katsiouleris said.
Glencore will continue to market Nyrstars commodity-grade lead and zinc produced outside of Europe when the deal ends in January.
As a condition of its merger with Xstrata, Glencore is also required to introduce or reintroduce Nyrstar to its zinc customers in Europe, although many of them already buy alloys directly from Nyrstar.
The companys renewed focus on marketing extends beyond exploring opportunities for the sale of its European zinc metal, and Katsiouleris aims to realign the commercial team to explore and anticipate new opportunities within the concentrates, metals and by-products markets to which it is exposed.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.