Xstrata closure removes over ten tonnes from indium market

Xstrata’s decision to close the metallurgical operations at its Kidd Creek copper-zinc-silver deposit in Ontario, Canada will remove over ten tonnes of indium from the global market, minor metals sources said.

The closure will interrupt Indium Corp of America's (ICA) evergreen supply contract for the Kidd Creek indium, sparking speculation that ICA will be forced to turn to the Chinese market. The smelter, which produced 11.5 tonnes of indium last year as a by-product, is in the process of being permanently shut down. Concentrates from the Kidd mine, which Xstrata will continue to operate, are being taken to the mining group's Horne smelter in Quebec, which has no indium processing capabilities, market participants understand. “The Horne smelter does not have an indium circuit and I would doubt they have any plans for one,” a refiner told MB, putting the loss at greater than 11.5 tonnes. “So the indium is going to be lost; nominally...


Janie Davies

May 12, 2010

15:30 GMT