SHANGHAI, Jun 18 (SMM) – SMM expects the closure of Mufulira smelter by Zambia's Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) to have little impact on the current falling treatment charges (TCs) for copper concentrate, given the limited capacity affected as well as the mining duties in Zambia.
The Glencore-owned company said on Monday June 17 that it shut its Mufulira smelter for major refurbishments, and the closure is expected to last until the end of the year. The smelter produced 119,000 mt of finished copper in 2018.
Supply of copper raw materials will expand in Zambia after the shutdown. MCM's investment in new shaft projects will not be impacted.
The long-term maintenance of the Zambian smelter sparked market concerns about tighter copper supply as overseas copper production has experienced negative growth this year.
SMM assessments showed that TCs for clean, spot imported copper concentrate continued to fall last week, losing $1/mt from June 6 to stand at $59-63/mt as of Friday June 14.