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Antamina expected to drive Peru's zinc output

Peru’s zinc output is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3% to top 1.7 million tonnes by 2022, Fitch Solutions Macro Research says in its latest outlook report.
Antamina expected to drive Peru's zinc output Antamina expected to drive Peru's zinc output Antamina expected to drive Peru's zinc output Antamina expected to drive Peru's zinc output Antamina expected to drive Peru's zinc output

Antamina produces about 34% of Peru’s zinc concentrate

Staff Reporter

The sizeable Antamina copper-zinc mine, owned by BHP Billiton (33.75%), Glencore (33.75%), Teck Resources (22.5%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (10%), is expected to be the main contributor to production growth from 1.5Mt in 2018.

The mine will do this as it continues to mine a higher proportion of copper-zinc ore over copper-only ore.

Teck has reported year-on-year increases of zinc production from the mine of 24%, 24%, and 5% through the first three quarters of 2018, and projected strong production guidance through to 2021.

Antamina's weighting at 34% of Peru's zinc concentrate production market to date meant it would have a large impact on overall production in Peru over the coming years, the analyst said.

The next largest producer is the Cerro Lindo mine, owned by Nexa Resources, with roughly 11% of the domestic zinc output.

Fitch pointed out Antamina was a good bellwether for local zinc production, since it was the largest mine by any measure.

Peru's Energy and Mines ministry tracks 75 zinc-producing mines, but many are low-volume producers with 52 mines making up roughly 10% of 2017 production. The top-five mines make up nearly 55% of production, with the next 15 contributing 32%, according to 2017 figures.

Fitch sees the zinc price at US$3,100/t by 2022, compared with the current price of about $2,709/t.