Mining Cost Service contains the results of our annual surveys of U.S. and Canadian copper, lead, zinc, nickel and molybdenum smelters.
Included where available are the current and projected availability of furnace capacity, the types of material accepted, deleterious element limits, metals recovered, and indications of the company's
interest in obtaining additional concentrates. Also included is a guide to current charges and terms for smelting and refining of copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver, beryllium, and tungsten.
Model Smelter Schedule - Lead Concentrates
- Lead: Pay for 95% of the lead content at market value, with minimum deductions of 1.5 to 3.0 units per dry tonne.
- Gold: Deduct 0.03 to 0.07 troy ounce per dry tonne and pay for 95% of the remaining gold at market value.
- Silver: Deduct 0.5 to 2.0 troy ounce per dry tonne and pay for 95% of the remaining silver at market value.
- Copper: Some smelters will pay for as much as 40% of contained copper while at some other smelters is concidered deleterious.
Treatment Charge: Terms for clean, very low-silver material for 2012 settled at $200 to $210 per tonne (flat), of $200 per tonne at a basis $2,100 per tonne with variety of up and down escalators
and a silver RC of $0.40 to $0.60 per ounce. Terms for clean, very low-silver material for 2013 are estimated at about $200 at a basis $2,000 per tonne with variety of up and down escalators
and a silver RC of $1.50 per ounce. In 2012, TCs for high silver content (100 ounces per tonne) concentrates settled at about $300 per tonne, basis $2,100 with an up escalator of 4% and a down escalator of 1%, and
a silver refining charge of $1.50 per ounce. Generally, high silver long-term contracts range from $210 to $300 per tonne, with silver refining charges at $0.60 to $1.50 per ounce.
- Complex Concentrates: Smelters are charging an additional $50 to $100 per tonne for low-grade, high-silver, complex or bulk concentrates.
- Refining Charges(1)
$6.00 - $10.00 per ounce of payable gold
$0.60 - $1.50 per ounce of payable silver (2)
- Deleterious Element Penalties: Lead concentrates containing excessive amounts of the following elements may be penalized of rejected: arsenic, antimony, bismuth, nickel, copper, alumina, tellurium, and
mercury. Iron in excess of 10% is also considered deleterious. See individual smelter descriptions for details.
- Moisture: High moisture content may also be penalized due to material handling difficulties.
Lead refining charges: These are rarely assessed directly in today's market. They are usually built into treatment charges. Additional charges may be assessed in the form of a metal-to-market levy
if the smelter is not located near the lead metal market.
Silver refining charges: These previously ranged from $0.30 to $0.40 per troy ounce of payable silver. However, with the rise in the silver price, smelters have increased this charge to $0.60 to $1.50
per troy ounce, depending on the smelter and quality of concentrate. Recent spot contracts are charging up to $1.50 per troy ounce for high silver concentrates and some Chinese smelters are demanding $3.00 to $4.00
per troy ounce for these concentrates.
2014 Smelter Survey Results - Trail Lead Smelter
||Teck Metals Ltd, a part of Teck Resources Ltd
||Trail, British Columbia, Canada
||lead and lead-arsenic-antimony alloys
||gold, silver, bismuth, copper sulfate, copper arsenate and sodium antimonate.
|Type of operation:
||Kivcet lead smelter and refinery, silver refinery (also see Trail Zinc Plant)
||120,000 tonnes (132,000 short tons) refined lead. The silver refinery has a capacity of about 20 million troy ounces per year. Teck Metals produced about 86,400 tonnes (95,200 short tons) refined lead and 22.8 million troy ounces silver in 2013. Production for 2014 is projected at 82,000 to 87,000 tonnes of refined lead and 22 to 25 million ounces of silver.
||Elements that may interfere with the current lead smelting operation include alumina, copper, zinc, tellurium, tin, mercury, arsenic, antimony, and bismuth.
||Teck Resources’ Red Dog Mine in Alaska supplies much of the lead concentrates for the lead smelter. The remainder is purchased from sources in North and South America. Teck produces about 15% of its lead from scrap such as lead-acid batteries. About 2 million car batteries are processed each year at the Trail plant. The company also recycles precious metals scrap from computers and other electronics. The company prefers high gold/silver content, but also handles tolerable levels of bismuth and copper in the lead concentrates. They pay for 85-95% of the contained gold and silver after deductions and are also interested in purchasing silver/gold-bearing silica ores for fluxing material. Lead production from Red Dog in 2012 was 95,400 tonnes (10,500 short tons).
||The facility at Trail, B.C. is the only integrated zinc-lead smelter complex in North America. Current production capacity at Trail represents 5% of the western world's refined zinc and 3% of the western world's lead output. The complex produces chiefly zinc, lead, silver, gold, and byproduct indium, cadmium, germanium, bismuth, copper sulfate, copper arsenate, sodium antimonate and a range of sulfur products.
In 1995, the company began construction of a new Kivcet lead smelter and a slag fuming plant at Trail. After numerous start-up problems and subsequent modifications, the lead smelter came on-line in 1997. The smelter replaced the original sinter and blast furnace smelter which continued to operate while the Kivcet smelter was being constructed. The new smelter has lowered lead and sulfur dioxide emissions by 75% and particulate emissions by 90%. In addition, the Kivcet process enables Teck to process complex concentrates, as well as zinc plant residues and lead battery scrap. The company can meet most of the new smelter's supply requirements from its own mines and stockpiled material, however, significant capacity is filled with custom concentrates.
Mining Cost Service: Smelting Section Contents
|Model Smelter Schedules: Copper, Lead, Zinc
|Gold and Silver Refining
Smelter Survey Results (see the full list of smelters included in the Mining Cost Service below).
Rouyn-Noranda PQ J9X 5B6
ASARCO Inc. - Ray Complex
P.O. Box 8
Hayden AZ 85235
|Miami Copper Smelter
P.O. Box 4444
Claypool AZ 85532
|Utah Copper Smelter
Kennecott Utah Copper
P.O. Box 6001
Magna UT 84006-0525
|Sudbury Nickel-Copper Smelter
Falconbridge ON P0M 1S0
|Copper Cliff smelter
Sudbury ON P0M 1N0
|Thompson Nickel-Copper Complex
Thompson MB R8N 1P3
Sherritt International Co.
P.O. Box 3388
Fort Saskatchewan AB T8L 2T3
Longe Harbor Processing Plant
1 Nickel Road, P.O. Box 39
Long Harbour, NL A0B 2JO
|Trail Lead Smelter
Trail BC V1R 4L8
|Belledune Lead Smelter
(formerly Brunswick Mining & Smelting)
Belledune NB E0B 1G0
|Canadian Electrolytic Zinc Refinery
Noranda Income Fund
860, Cadieux Boulevard
Valleyfield PQ J6S 4W2
|Trail Zinc Refinery
Trail BC V1R 4L8
|Flin Flon Zinc Division
P.O. Box 1500
Flin Flon MB R8A 1S8
P.O. Box 1104, Zinc Plant Road
Clarksville TN 37041-1104
|Endako Molybdenum Roaster
Thompson Creek Metals
P.O. Box 4001
Fraser Lake BC V0J 1S0
|Delta Plant - (Beryllium)
P.O. Box 815
Delta UT 84624
Climax Molybdenum Co.
P.O. Box 220
Ft. Madison IA 52627
|Sierrita Molybdenum Roasters
P.O. Box 527
Green Valley AZ 85622-0527
|Langeloth Molybdenum Roaster
Thompson Creek Metals
|Columbus Platinum-Palladium Smelter
Stillwater Mining Company
P.O. Box 1209
Columbus MT 59019
|Fallon Plant (Tungsten)
347 North Taylor Street
Fallon NV 89406
Mining Cost Service
Price: 1 year subscription, single user, PDF only - US$2,600
1 year subscription, single user, paper copy plus PDF - US$3,000
When you subscribe to Mining Cost Service, you will receive all of the current PDF files and, if ordered,
two full volumes of the current paper copy of current, reliable cost data, plus you will receive a full year's updating service
in the format you have chosen.
For multiple user licensing, please contact us.