Beijing, 20 April (Argus) —
Chinese base metals mining firm Huayu Mining, has launched production at its antimony-gold smelter Talco Gold in Tajikistan following Covid-19-related delays in the last few years.
Huayu and Tajikistan Aluminium, a state-owned aluminium smelter, are co-investors in Talco Gold. The project is expected to process 1.5mn t/yr of ores to produce 2.2 t/yr of gold and 16,000 t/yr of antimony metal when it reaches full capacity. The project was supposed to launch in 2019 but faced delays because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tajikistan Aluminium owns 264,616t metal equivalent of antimony and 49.9t of gold resources.
Huayu mines lead, zinc, copper and silver and owns 434,600t metal equivalent of antimony resources in Tibet and outside China after investing in the Talco Gold project. Huayu is able to produce around 5,000 t/yr metal equivalent of antimony metal from its domestic mines.
A continued shortage of concentrate and metal supplies bolstered the antimony market to a 10-year high of 81,500-82,500 yuan/t ($12,800-12,970/t) for 99.65pc grade metal on 24 March. The range softened by Yn500/t from 7 April to Yn81,000-82,000/t ex-works on 12 April as weaker demand outweighed the concentrate shortage to prompt sellers to cut offers to attract sales. Export prices for the metal have remained firm at $14,100-14,300/t fob since 24 March as tight supply outside of China has encouraged Chinese exporters to maintain their offers.