Aluminum and Copper

Antofagasta agrees to copper charges with some Chinese smelters

Antofagasta agrees to copper charges with some Chinese smelters
Mining News Pro - Chilean miner Antofagasta PLC has agreed to supply copper concentrate to some Chinese smelters at treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) of $65 a tonne and 6.5 cents per lb next year, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The annual rates are the same as those that US-based miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc agreed with major Chinese copper smelters on Dec. 16, cementing $65 and 6.5 cents as the TC/RC benchmark for 2022.

Miners pay TC/RCs to smelters to process ore into refined metal. The first annual settlement between a major miner — in recent years Freeport or Antofagasta — and a Chinese smelter in the fourth-quarter “mating season” usually becomes the benchmark for the year ahead and is used in supply contracts globally.

Several Chinese smelters have already agreed annual terms with Antofagasta and the remainder should sign up by the end of this week, one of the sources said. The second source concurred some deals had been closed and others were still pending.

Both sources declined to be identified as the discussions are private. Antofagasta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At a meeting of the China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) on Wednesday, Chinese copper smelters kept their spot TC/RC floor at $70 per tonne and 7 cents per lb for the first quarter of 2022.

CSPT members are not supposed to agree to rates below the floor price in any spot processing deals for imported copper concentrate.

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