By Paul Ploumis (ScrapMonster Author)
August 17, 2016 08:00:41 AM
SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Major mines have reported decline in tin production during the recent quarter of the year. Refined tin output by Minsur's Brazilian subsidiary, Taboca, remained essentially flat during Q2. Also, Indonesian state-owned tin producer PT Timah has announced that it may not be able to achieve the 2016 production targets set earlier. The drop in production at Chinese tin smelters on account of environmental inspections is likely to impact the global output.
On the other hand, restructuring activities and acquisitions remained buoyant. Asian Mineral Resources (AMR) had recently announced the acquisition of Kasbah Resources Limited. Also, Metals X had announced its decision to establish a separate unit for base metals, untying it from its gold mining business.
Taboca, Brazilian subsidiary of Minsur, produced 1,514 tonnes of refined tin during the second quarter of 2016, more or less flat when compared with production during the corresponding quarter last year. The tin concentrate output from Pitinga mine too remained flat, rising marginally by 8 tonnes year-on-year to 1,680 tonnes in Q2 this year. The volume of treated ore at Pitinga mine rose 8% in Q2 to 1.59 Mt. Tin head grades also reported slight improvement during the quarter. However, tin recoveries plunged. The cumulative Brazilian refined tin production by Minsur during the initial six-month period of 2016 totaled 2,410 tonnes, falling significantly by nearly 8% over the previous year. The half-yearly mine production too recorded a year-on-year decline of 3% to total 3,174 tonnes.
Meantime, Indonesian state-run tin producer PT Timah has stated that the company is struggling with production. Consequently, it may not be able to achieve its original production target of 30,000 tonnes set for 2016. Under current circumstances, yearly production is likely to be confined to between 24,000 tonnes and 27,000 tonnes. However, it expects production to recover during 2017. The latest available data indicates that Timah’s mine output totaled 3,405 tonnes during Q1 2016, significantly lower by 49% when matched with the same period in 2015. Refined tin output tumbled 40% to 4,205 tonnes.
Most tin smelters in Chinese provinces including Yunnan, Guangxi and Jiangxi have announced temporary suspension of production activities on account of environmental inspections by state authorities. The exact restart-date is yet to be announced by many smelters. A few smelters are expected to remain idle for more than a month. This may lead to supply tightness in domestic market. The latest Customs data indicated that the country’s imports of tin ores and concentrates during June this year surged higher by over 58% year-on-year to 39,044 tonnes (gross weight).
Asian Mineral Resources (AMR), which holds a 90% interest in the operating Ban Phuc Nickel Mine in Vietnam, had recently announced that it has acquired Tin explorer Kasbah Resources Limited. Also, Metal X had announced its plans to split its operations into two units-gold mining and base metals. The base metals unit will include 50% stake in the Renison tin mine in Tasmania. The demerger is expected to take place in late October/early November this year.