Teck signs zinc benchmark deals at $159/t with Glencore, Korea Zinc

Image: Teck Resources’ Red Dog mine in northwest Alaska.

Teck Resources and its smelter customers Glencore and Korea Zinc have nearly halved treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) in a deal for 2021 to $159 per tonne due to tight mine supply, Fastmarkets reported.

Treatment charges (TCs) fall when mine output decreases and smelters compete to get concentrate to process.

The companies are major players in the metals sector, and Teck and Korea Zinc’s agreement on yearly processing charges, that miners pay smelters, often establishes a benchmark widely used throughout the industry.

Fastmarkets reported that the deals, which are 46% lower than the near $300 a tonne set last year, were concluded last week and will be for supply from Teck’s Red Dog mine in Alaska.

Spot rates in top consumer China are at $75 a tonne, according to Asian Metal, the lowest since September 2018 and down from a near 12-year high of $305 in February 2020.

Zinc miners have struggled to recover from disruptions caused by covid-19, causing extreme tightness in the concentrates market.

Glencore declined to comment, Teck was not immediately available and Korea Zinc did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside normal business hours.

(By Zandi Shabalala and Tom Daly; Editing by David Evans)


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