Australia’s New Century to supply zinc concentrate to Concord

MELBOURNE, April 24 (Reuters) – New Century Resources has signed a deal to supply zinc to global trader Concord Resources Ltd, as it pushes to sell the final portion of production planned at its site in northern Australia, the company said on Tuesday.

In the miner’s fifth supply deal, Concord will take approximately 5 percent of production when it begins in the third quarter at the Century Zinc Mine in the state of Queensland.

That will take completed sales to 80 percent of planned production, New Century said in a release to the Australian Stock Exchange.

New Century said it was still in negotiations for 10 percent of its supply, targeting total forward sales of 90 percent of production.

The agreement is the second in two days after the miner on Monday said it had reached a supply deal with Swiss trader MRI Trading AG, which also included a $15 million unsecured debt facility for working capital. The miner has also signed agreements with Belgium’s Nyrstar, which has a smelter in South Australia, Switzerland-based Mercuria Energy Trading and Transamine Trading.

Its offtake deal with Nyrstar came after the Belgian smelter threatened legal action based on a historic supply agreement, after it missed out on the first two tenders.

The total tender offering was for up to 1.5 million tonnes of zinc concentrate from the Century mine, representing production from approximately the first 3.5 years of operations.

New Century is mining the tailings of the Century site, which was once one of the world’s biggest zinc mines but which closed in 2015.

Global zinc mine production is due to climb 6 percent this year to 13.78 million tonnes, the highest in at least five years, according to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group. Closures in 2015 created shortages and spurred a rally in prices.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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