SYDNEY, Feb 10, 2011 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Treatment and refining costs for copper produced by Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM.AU) will likely be in the midrange of $50-$60 a metric ton, the miner's incoming chief executive said Friday.
Greg Robinson, the gold and copper miner's executive director, finance, indicated that the miner's costs for smelting copper concentrates into the cathode, from which most copper products are made, would be lower than some recent reported deals.
"The market negotiations continue, but I'd have thought the mid-$50s a metric ton is a range to think about," he said.
Shortages of copper concentrates last year drove TC/RCs sharply lower in Asia, but smelters in Japan and China have said they had struck higher deals in recent months.
Pan Pacific Copper, Japan's biggest copper smelter, confirmed last month that it had agreed to charges of $80/ton with a South African miner, while Chinese traders said a local smelter had agreed on contracts at $70/ton with a North American copper company.
Newcrest produced 35,406 tons of copper in the six months to the end of December, the miner said in half-year results, a drop of 21% compared with the same period in 2009 as a result of rains and flooding in its Cadia Valley copper-gold mining complex.
"Concentrate treatment and realisation costs were lower than the prior period reflecting both lower concentrate production and reduced treatment and refining rates," Newcrest said in half-year results.