American miner Freeport McMoRan recently agreed to copper refining/ treatment charges (TCs) of $59.50/mt with four Chinese smelters.
According to media reports, a rate of 5.95¢/lb was agreed on with China Copper, Jiangxi Copper, Tongling Nonferrous, and Jinchuan Group. The new benchmark is down by $2.5/mt compared with the 2020 benchmark of $62/mt and 6.2¢/lb. The new rate will be applicable from Q1 2021.
The companies involved noted that the decreased TCs were a result of tight mine copper concentrate supply, coupled with increasing Chinese smelting capacity. This rate is usually considered as the benchmark for the rest of the year. This year, miners and smelters were at odds over TCs because of tight supply resulting in a gap of $5-10/mt between the bids and offers for the process until the end of November.