SMM12, 12 March: the large Antamina copper-zinc mine, owned by BHP Billiton (33.75 per cent), Glencore (33.75 per cent), Teck Resources (22.5 per cent) and Mitsubishi (10 per cent), is expected to be a major contributor to 1.5 million tons of production growth in 2018. The mine will continue to mine a higher proportion of copper and zinc ores on pure copper ores. Teck reported that zinc production at the mine was up 24 per cent, 24 per cent and 5 per cent year-on-year by the first three quarters of 2018, with strong production guidance expected by 2021. The analyst said Antamina's current 34 per cent share of the Peruvian zinc concentrate production market meant it would have a huge impact on Peru's overall production in the coming years. The second largest producer is Nexa Resources's Cerro Lindo mine, which accounts for about 11 per cent of domestic zinc production.
Fitch points out that Antamina is the "leader" of local zinc producers because it is the largest mine anyway.
Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mining tracks 75 zinc mines, but many are small producers, 52 of which account for about 10 per cent of annual production in 2017. According to 2017 data, the top five mines account for nearly 55 per cent of production, with the next 15 accounting for 32 per cent.
Fitch expects zinc to reach $3100 a tonne by 2022, compared with the current price of about $2709 a tonne.
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