Chambishi delays restart until cobalt rises above $24/lb



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Inscription: Jeu 30 Juil 2009 19:54

Message Ven 28 Aoû 2009 14:47

Chambishi delays restart until cobalt rises above $24/lb

Zambia's cobalt producer Chambishi Metals is postponing the resumption
of cobalt production indefinitely until there is further improvement in the
price of cobalt to between $24 and $30/1b, the company said Thursday.
CEO Derek Webbstock said it would not make sense to resume production
when the price was still low. Production had been due to restart in July. The
postponement was also attributed to delays by feedstock suppliers, and
Webbstock said the supply chain was long.
Chambishi Metals had entered into agreement with companies in the
Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia to supply cobalt concentrate to the
The company shut the cobalt plant in December 2008, following a slump in
the price of cobalt to below $10/1b.
Low stockfeed from its Nkana slag dump was another reason for the plant
shutdown. The company needed high grade cobalt concentrate of about 3% Co
contained and about 400 mt/day of the raw material to keep the plant running.
Until its shutdown, Chambishi Metals was Zambia's largest producer,
producing around 3,500 mt/year.
In the meantime, the company said it would not comment on a suggestion
by the Mineworkers Union of Zambia, which said Thursday that Chambishi Metals
be handed over to China NonFerrous Metals Corp, which recently bought Luanshya
Copper Mines, Chambishi Metals' sister company.
MUZ President Rayford Mbulu said equipment at Chambishi Metals was in
dire need of repair, adding that if the situation was left as it was, it would
be costly to resume production there.
Luanshya Copper Mines and Chambishi Metals were both owned by ENYA
Holding. ENYA, however, decided to retain Chambishi Metals after selling the
Luanshya Copper Mines to China NonFerrous Metals in June 2009.
Cobalt prices have been unusually firm during the summer months, normally
a period of seasonal low demand and falling prices for cobalt. However, supply
constraints, caused by production stoppages at several producers including
Chambishi, have helped keep the supply side tight. In addition to Chambishi
not producing cobalt, China's Jinchuan is not selling material, while Japan's
Sumitomo is understood to be sold out.
Meanwhile, Vale Inco's production is affected by a strike, which is now
into its sixth week, and the company has declared force majeure on cobalt
Consumers in the US, where most of Vale Inco's production is sold, have
been buying Xstrata's Falconbridge brand to replace it, which has helped push
high-grade prices well above $20/lb.
Separately, a recovery in demand in the chemical sector in Asia and in
China's battery sector has resulted in strong demand for broken cathodes, of
which Chambishi is a key producer.
According to market sources, when Chinese consumers are unable to buy
broken cathodes, they have to buy high-grade material, as they cannot easily
substitute with lower grades.
The Platts Zambian 99.6% broken cathode grade price was steady with the
spread widening to $18.50-19.50/lb delivered US on Thursday compared with
$18.75-19.50 on August 20.


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Inscription: Jeu 30 Juil 2009 16:48

Localisation: la seyne sur mer

Message Ven 28 Aoû 2009 15:26

merci laf1986, redonnes le lien

pour le cours du cobalt


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Inscription: Jeu 30 Juil 2009 19:54

Message Ven 28 Aoû 2009 22:27

Zambia cobalt plant rules out local feedstock

LUSAKA - Zambia's largest cobalt producer Chambishi Metals Plc will not resume production using material from the local Nkana slug dump because it would be unprofitable to do so, the company said on Friday.

Operations at Chambishi were suspended in December and were due to restart in August, but CEO Derek Webbstock said Chambishi would wait until mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) begin to deliver cobalt concentrates.

Webbstock said it would only be economical for Chambishi to use the material from the Nkana slug dump, about 289 km northwest of Lusaka, if the price of cobalt reached $24 per pound.

"The price of producing cobalt from the Nkana slug dump is higher than the current price of cobalt. Until the price of cobalt exceeds the cost of producing it, we will not restart the furnace," Webbstock told Reuters.

He said its agreed suppliers, mainly in the DRC, had still not delivered any concentrates, despite contractual agreements.

He did not elaborate on the cost of producing cobalt from raw materials delivered by suppliers from the DRC.

Webbstock said Chambishi, which had forecast output of 3 400 t of cobalt in 2009 from 2 500 before it suspended operations last December, would first have to stockpile the cobalt concentrates before starting operations.

Start of production had already been pushed back to August from July while Chambishi waited for supplies from the DRC.

Chambishi, which was previously owned by Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM), a joint venture of Bein Stein Group Resources (BSGR) and International Mineral Resources (IMR), is now owned by Enya Holdings of the United Kingdom.

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