Chile’s copper miner Antofagasta agreed to pay $59.50/mt as treatment/refining charges (TC) for copper concentrate in a deal with smelters from Japan and China.
According to media reports, a few Japanese smelters along with China’s Jiangxi Copper and Tongling Nonferrous agreed to the deal. The agreements confirm this TC rate as the benchmark for 2021, after Freeport sealed the first deal at the same rate, earlier this week.
Reports also suggested that Chile’s largest copper producer, Codelco, would follow suit soon. The copper TC rate, paid by miners to smelters to refine mined copper, has steadily fallen since 2015 when it peaked at $105/mt. Market participants have attributed the decline to smelting overcapacity in China, paired with lower global copper mine output.