“The main focus for tin is in the positive anode electrode of lithium ion batteries, usually made today
from graphite on a copper foil. Next generation products are already adding silicon into the graphite
to increase capacity. Some will probably use tin, either as an alternative or in addition to enhance
silicon performance. For example, China’s largest electric vehicle producer, BYD, recently patented
a tin-cobalt-carbon technology for anodes”
International Tin Association article published by Australian Resource Investment
The top 10 global producers of refined tin showed a 2.4% reduction in aggregate production in 2016 to 218,165t according to the International Tin Research Institute (ITRI). Their share of the global market also declined marginally from 67% in 2015 to 65% in 2016. The top 4 Chinese producers account for just over 50% of top 10 production and managed a 1% increase in 2016 with the help of imports from Myanmar covering a decline in domestic raw material supply.
Stellar Resources Limited (ASX: SRZ, “Stellar” or the “Company”) is pleased to advise that it has completed an initial X-ray sorting test program using drill core from the Severn and Lower Queen Hill tin deposits.
TOMRA advised in its test report that sorting using a full size TOMRA COM XRT machine was “able to identify and separate high density tin bearing particles from waste. Different machine settings were used for each of the feed materials and both sets of samples showed significant amenability to upgrading the tin concentration.”
Indonesian tin exports in November amounted to 4,892 tonnes, some 25% lower than in the previous month, according to preliminary figures released by the trade ministry today. The cumulative tonnage for the first eleven months of the year is 57,508 tonnes, down by 18% compared to January-November 2015.
The latest figures are based on pre-shipment checks made by surveying companies and include a small quantity of tin solder, as well as refined metal ingots. They are consistent with the November trading volume on the ICDX, through which all refined tin export sales must be conducted, of 4,175 tonnes.
ITRI View: Activity on the ICDX was subdued in early November as a result of rule changes which required buyers to pay in full for purchases via the exchange clearing house, whereas previously cash settlements were made directly between buyers and sellers. However, volumes have since recovered and we believe that higher prices are resulting in increased small-scale mining activity. Our latest estimate of Indonesian refined tin production this year is 66,400t, up by 1,000t on 2015.
Mineral exploration spending remains weak in Tasmania, but Resources Minister Guy Barnett says confidence is returning to mining.Exploration spending fell slightly to $3.2 million in the September quarter, Australian Bureau of Statistics trend terms figures showed.
That took the annual spend to $12.9 million; well down on the $16.6 million spent in the year to the end of September 2015, and less than a third of the $39.2 million spent in the year to the end of September 2013. National spending increased by 1 per cent in the quarter, seasonally adjusted.
“Confidence is returning to the Tasmanian mining industry as world commodity prices recover and companies look to progress several exciting projects,” Mr Barnett said. He said there was an air of optimism at an Australian Mines and Metals Association gathering at Strahan on Friday.
He also visited Stellar Resources Limited, which hopes to mine tin near Zeehan.
“I was pleased to speak to the local mining industry about the Liberal government’s investment in strengthening our support of this critical sector, which employs about 3000 Tasmanians,” Mr Barnett said.
“The potential is enormous, and it is great to hear that the company will now be applying for a mining lease and setting out to gain all necessary approvals,” Mr Barnett said.
“Together with PYBAR’s work to restart Henty and MMG’s announced sale of the Avebury mine, there is more and more positive news in the industry.
“Most importantly, as we are seeing at Henty, and we hope at Avebury and at potential new mines such as Stellar, this is an industry that can create direct and indirect jobs for a great many Tasmanians.”
Source: Sean Ford, The Advocate Newspaper
Leading tin producers share positive industry outlook – ITRI Asian Tin Week
Monday, 28 November 2016
The heads of the world’s two largest producing tin mining companies, Yunnan Tin Group General Manager, Mr Li Gang, and PT Timah President Director, M. Riza Pahlevi Tabrani, responded positively to questions on price, demand and sustainability during the Leaders Discussion at the ITRI Asia Tin Summit in Shanghai last week. The panel was chaired by Deputy Bureau Chief of the Financial Times Beijing, Lucy Hornby, with Chief Sales Officer for Metallo Chimique, Inge Hofkens, and ITRI’s David Bishop and Peter Kettle also present as guest panellists.
The panel was generally bullish on the outlook for tin prices next year, although Mr Li commented that other input prices such as energy were also rising, putting upward pressure on YTC’s production costs. Mr Tabrani spoke about PT Timah’s plans for new processing facilities, mining vessels and development of borehole mining, which would help sustain production in the future. Inge Hofkens commented that as a secondary tin smelter, Metallo Chimique’s position was generally neutral on price, as the cost of scrap is benchmarked to the LME price. Both Li Gang and David Bishop expressed hopes for less volatility in the tin price moving forwards and a price level that is healthy for both producers and consumers.
The panel was generally optimistic about long term tin demand prospects, noting the potential from new energy applications and further electronics growth. It was noted that efficiency and recyclability were major drivers for new tin product development, with higher tin prices likely to encourage the development of new technologies for the recycling of tin.
When questioned about the impact of the tin industry on the environment, Mr Tabrani noted that PT Timah was committed to green mining and fully engaged with the development of the ITRI Code of Conduct, due to be implemented in 2017. Mr Li also expressed YTC’s strong support for the Code. The panel recognised that improving practices and reporting would incur additional cost, but that this could be offset by careful management of operating cost and efficiency improvements. Mr Li also stressed that it was important for leading tin companies to help small-scale miners by encouraging progressive improvement of their working practices.
The May edition of Paydirt reports that despite the challenges tin producers and explorers are facing in the market, many remain bullish the sector will bounce back ‘with history suggesting a tin price recovery is on the cards’.
One explorer and developer ‘prepared for the fight’ is Stellar Resources, who article author, Mark Andrews, describes as a ‘potential rising star in the game’.
Earlier this year Stellar conducted a metallurgical optimisation study at its Heemskirk Tin project in Tasmania, which revealed better tin recoveries (up 7.4% to 79.5%) from the Severn deposit were possible, while average recoveries across all deposits improved by 4.5% to 72.8%. An increase in recoveries has also boosted production potential to 4,520t, resulting in a PFS valuation for the Heemskirk Tin Project of $160 million.
Commenting on Stellar’s credentials as Australia’s best emerging tin producer, Managing Director Peter Blight said, “There is growing interest within the tin industry itself as to where the next sustainable production is going to come from. What the industry is looking for is investible projects and I think we stack up pretty well on the list.”
The article also reports on the big focus for Stellar this year; starting a DFS at Heemskirk, with Andrews suggesting “further metallurgical improvements and resulting cost optimisations will no doubt help Stellar’s pursuit for cash”, with the company looking to secure $10 million.