Precious metal prospects push high-silver lead TCs below standard level

The treatment charges for lead concentrates of high silver and lower silver content moved in opposite directions in the latest assessments on Friday November 26, while the price range for zinc treatment charges (TCs) widened for the first time since September.

“A supplier of high-silver material told me they expected TCs to turn negative at some point next year,” a lead smelter source said.
“We are quite pessimistic about the prospects for lead smelting,” he added. “Some [of our] peers are already discussing whether we should consider lead to be a by-product and not our main product any more, and that we should look for profits from the recovery of silver and minor metals.”
Increasing appetite for high-silver material has translated into “very aggressive bids” for tenders from Volcan and Aurelia Metals, which came well below recent spot prices.
Other current lead concentrate tenders included tonnages from the Gamsberg, Black Mountain and San Vicente mines of Mexican company Industrias Peñoles.
Fastmarkets’ lead spot concentrate TC, high silver, cif China, was assessed at $50-70 per tonne on Friday, having been at $55-70 per tonne since August 27.

Notably, this was the first...

Published

Ana de Liz

Yiwen Ju

November 26, 2021

18:10 GMT

London, Shanghai