Price of Zinc Goes Up during Supply Shortage while renewable Development Keeps Copper Steady

Jon Capistrano
Jon Capistrano
August 11, 2016

Alarming report from ABC News.The closure of zinc mines in Australia and overseas is pushing the prices of zinc, which has already gone up 60% this year to around US $2,240/tonne. This makes zinc the best performing base metal of 2016. Zinc is also the primary ingredient in galvanising steel with a protective coating.

Heron Resources is planning to return a landfill site in Woodlawn, NSW, to its former life as a zinc mine. Wayne Taylor, managing director of Heron Resources said the timing was right to go ahead with the development, but thought the price needed to rise around another 30% to bring new mines into production. The Woodlawn mines were operated for 2 decades before closing in 1998 and becoming a landfill site for waste from Sydney in 2004. Given the history of the site, Mr Taylor said a lot of the infrastructure was already in place to help bring the mine back quickly once full funding has been raised.

The continued urbanisation in India and China and the growth in renewable energy uptake is helping to fuel a copper Renaissance. The red metal is important for power transmission and is also a key input in the manufacture of low emissions technology. According to John Fennell of the Australian chapter of the International Copper Association, higher density population boosted the amount of copper used in construction by 5 times, from 0.06 to 0.30 per square metre.

The DeGrussa copper mine is located in the Murchison region of WA, around 200 kilometres northeast of Meekatharra. The deposit was only discovered 7 years ago and the mine has both underground operations and open pits. Karl Simich, CEO of Sandfire Resources said that the region is one of the nation’s best new copper provinces. And the recent drilling results show grades not seen in Australia for the last 30 years.

Click here to read the full story on ABC News

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