ITRI on the need for investment in tin

Earlier this year, ITRI, the global tin association formerly known as the International Tin research Institute, completed its fourth major review since 2008 of the medium to long-term outlook for the industry. The fundamental conclusion of this study was that there is a high probability of a tin shortage developing within the next five years, even if growth in usage is slow.

Stellar Resources Heemskirk Tin Project in Tasmania is poised to become the second largest tin producer in Australia.

To read the full article by Peter Kettle, Manager – Markets – ITRI Ltd, click on the link below:

Australian_Resources_and_Investment_Dec_2014

Stellar Resources: 2014 Year In Review

As 2014 draws to a close, we reflect on the year that has passed and the broader tin market.

This year has proven to be an exciting time for Stellar Resources with several important advances for the Heemskirk Tin Project:

  • Metallurgical testing to refine and validate the processing circuit has demonstrated potential for improved recovery.
  • Diamond drilling down-plunge of the Queen Hill deposit has shown that ore-grade tin mineralisation is present at depth.
  • Work commenced on the satellite St Dizer tin prospect to determine its role in the overall project.
  • Permitting commenced with submission of a Notice of Intent to the Tasmanian Environment Protection Authority.

In addition, we won the support of a major new investor in Capetown S.A, a Luxembourg-based company with a long association with the tin industry and a desire to see Stellar take Heemskirk into production.

There are a number of tin projects in the world competing for access to a tightening tin market. BGR (German Geological Institute) has studied many of these projects and concluded that Stellar’s Heemskirk project is one of seven that are likely to be developed before 2020.

Within the global tin market, 2014 saw demand continue to recover from a low base set in 2012. However, that did not translate into higher prices as expected, due to increased supply from unreported sources in Myanmar and Indonesia. The current tin price of $20,300 per tonne is at a low point in the cycle and represents a price at which 10% of the industry is unprofitable. Supply is adjusting to the current price and should continue to adjust in 2015.

Looking forward, the common opinion from industry experts is that a gap between supply and demand will emerge and grow as depletion affects production from traditional sources. As this scenario emerges, prices are expected to rise above the US$25,000/tonne level required to encourage new production.

In 2015, Stellar Resources will continue to expand its activities around its Heemskirk Tin Project to realise its goal of becoming the second largest tin producer in Australia.

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to keeping you up to date in the New Year.

Regards,

Peter Blight
Managing Director, Stellar Resources

Indonesia Must Halt Tin Sales to Aid Price, Bangka Governor Says

Bloomberg’s Dwi Sadmoko, Yoga Rusmana and Eko Listiyorini report on Indonesia’s plans to halt overseas tin shipments in an effort to raise prices. Indonesia is the world’s biggest tin exporter, accounting for 48 percent of global tin production. However, tin prices across the world keep falling as supplies from other countries, like Myanmar, continue to increase. There is an obvious need for cooperation from all smelters.

To read the full article, click on the link below:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-27/indonesia-must-halt-tin-sales-to-aid-price-bangka-governor-says.html

Shanghai Futures Exchange plans to launch tin contract soon

The Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) is set to expand, with the launch of a new tin future contract. The application has already been lodged with the China Security Regulatory Commission.

SHFE already has 12 futures contracts available for trading including copper, aluminum and steel. SHFE’s expansion into tin trading makes a great deal of sense – China is currently the world’s largest tin producer and consumer.

The tin industry in China has responded positively to the listing of SHFE’s futures contract as tin price transparency will be improved and investment demand for tin will be stimulated.

At one tonne, the tin contract lot size will be markedly smaller than other traded metals at SHFE but the contract will prospectively trade interminably once it is launched.

Source: https://www.itri.co.uk/index.php?option=com_zoo&task=item&item_id=3109&category_id=3&Itemid=143

ICDX previews new trading initiatives for tin sellers

According to ITRI a proposed new Bulletin Board system will enable tin sellers to deal with individual customers directly outside of the current auction system. This initiative is being spearheaded by the Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (ICDX) to boost participation by international tin buyers.

The Small-to-Medium (S/M) End-User membership scheme is aimed at users of tin who purchase less than 250 tonnes per annum, provide details of their planned purchases and have been subjected to onsite inspections. Qualifying buyers will be exempt from the exchange’s regular $30,000 joining fee and their membership charges will also be reduced.

The S/M users can organise one-on-one deals via the Bulletin Boards and will have a special system for purchasing tin from individual suppliers subject to a yearly maximum volume.

Depending on the subsequent feedback of S/M End-Users, these new trade initiatives have the potential to be adopted by other exchange companies and change the way in which tin is bought and sold globally.

Source: https://www.itri.co.uk/index.php?option=com_zoo&task=item&item_id=3111&Itemid=143

Tin Annual Conference highlights future demand and current issues

Tin_exploration_miningNo need for a crystal ball as leading professionals discussed the future of tin at the second annual tin conference in Melbourne on Wednesday 5th November. International Tin Research Institute (ITRI), MetalsX, Stellar Resources amongst others presented findings on tin’s performance this year and future outlook.

Peter Kettle was the keynote speaker from ITRI and has been involved in tin research for over 30 years. Kettle’s view on the long term is that the story remains unchanged, stating that there is a high probability of supply shortages developing in the next five years. But that in the short term the supply surges from Myanmar and Indonesia, coupled with the weakness in key demand sectors, are contributors to setbacks in the tin price. Having said that Kettle went on to say that US$19,000/tonne (the current price level) represented the low point for tin prices as marginal producers are unprofitable at this level.

Kettle also spoke about the positive changes for tin use and production in the future. Where tinplate and solder were the past hero applications, using tin for chemicals, energy purposes and lead and steel alloys is set to increase significantly in the next ten years. He also predicted that changes in the locations of major mines will see a shift from Indonesia, Peru and China to sites in Africa, Australia and Russia.

Interestingly, Metals X’ Peter Cook stated that the Renison Bell tin mine had made great progress in improving its production performance. However, in valuing all of assets in Metals X “tin” was a freebie.

Other presentations by Kasbah and Venture Minerals were bullish about tin’s future and that the supply issues will become critical. They also agreed that patience was required as the tin price needed to be at least $25,000 per tonne in order to attract funding for projects.

The presentation by Stellar Resources was led by the managing director Peter Blight who has been with the company for seven years, after previously working for UBS, UC Rusal and Rio Tinto.

Blight discussed Stellar’s promising Heemskirk and St Dizier resources. Heemskirk is the highest grade undeveloped ASX listed tin resource and is one of only seven known tin projects that BGR – German Federal institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources (mandated to report on future supply of critical metals to government and industry) – claimed has a good chance to go to operation by 2020.

Heemskirk, combined with St Dizier, has 85 kilotonnes of tin. Following very positive prefeasibility results in July 2013, Stellar plans to target its first production in 2017.

In terms of future exploration these sites in Tasmania have outstanding potential, especially with their unexplored halo of silver-lead veins.

ITRI’s seminar is also presented in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth.

To view Peter Kettle’s presentation click here.

Lower sales predicted for fourth quarter: Indonesian smelters polled

Bloomberg recently carried out a poll among Indonesian smelters assessing future exports. The results indicate an expected median export of 16,000 tonnes for the fourth quarter of 2014. Lower prices and stricter controls are cited as drivers behind the prediction.

However, ITRI predicts Q4 exports between 20,000 and 25,000 tonnes, though does concede that “controls on illegal mining do appear to be getting tighter and the new export regulation will greatly reduce exports of tin in non-ingot form”.

ITRI’s predicted export rate would still place annual exports at around 80,000 tonnes, the lowest since 2007.

Over the past few months, Indonesian police have been cracking down on illegal tin mining – particularly in protected areas – and these tightened controls combined with dropping prices and new export regulations are likely to have contributed to lower sales.

The new regulations will come into effect from November 1 and are likely to impact the price of tin.

Source: ITRI

Tin: A lesser-known fire fighter

Australia is well-known for its scorching hot summers. While many of us trudge through winter awaiting the warming feeling of the sun’s rays, this weather can also mark a period of potential high risk. Fires are undoubtedly dangerous and ruthless disasters that occur during those hot summer months. That’s why researchers have spent countless hours determining the best and most cost-effective fire retardants available.

Although a wide range of chemicals have been used as fire retardants over the years, many have been found containing inherent toxic elements, and therefore have negative impacts on the environment. Researchers and the general public have raised concern about these harmful chemicals, and have sought the market for other alternatives.

During the mid-1980s, The International Tin Research Institute (ITRI) had begun development of novel tin-based additives that could be used as a safer, more effective fire retardant. This development has proven a great success, and nowadays, these compounds are being marketed world-wide. As we can see, the application of tin in everyday instances has gone on to benefit the environment and the public globally.

Yet despite clear technical benefits, including non-toxicity and excellent smoke suppression, markets for tin compounds have been somewhat limited due to their relatively high price compared to many other flame retardants. This has seen recent research focussing on tin additives being used as synergists with other flame retardants and on developing more cost-effective systems.

Tin has certainly proven to be an element offering several advantages over many conventional flame retardants. The development and application of tin continues to be analysed in terms of its potential benefits to our society as a whole and consequently, the use of tin is expected to grow in the immediate future. Australians are armed with a firefighter that can help them out if needed.

Source: ITRI

Tin Deficit in 2014 Seen Lower as Myanmar Ore Supply Gains: ITRI

Bloomberg news has reported a global shortfall of ore supplies, while ore supplies from Myanmar to Chinese smelters have increased.

The deficit has been reported to drop to 7,000mt this year from the estimate of 10,800mt last year. However Myanmar ore output has grown from 20,000mt in 2013 to 25,000mt in 2014, reports ITRI China chief representative, Cui Lin.

The market is expected to remain in deficit in 2014 with Indonesia’s new export policy due to take effect in November. This policy may reduce production during the rest of the year. The low tin price may further curb high-cost production in Indonesia.

This year, China exported an average of 9,000mt of tin in metal, between January and August. During an interview conference in Suzhou, eastern China last week, Cui cited industrial data outlining expectations that exports would fall during the rest of the year, as Chinese prices moved above London Metal Exchange rates.

Indonesia is the largest shipper of tin, with China its biggest consumer.

Indonesian smelters setting their own tin price

Bloomberg reported that trade on the Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (ICDX) was weak due to the country’s tin producers holding out for sales above the benchmark spot rate in London to try to counter a decline in prices.

Citing almost a USD$400 premium, smelter members on the ICDX were offering prices between USD$500 – USD$600 a metric ton above the contract on the London Metal Exchange.

The opinion from Peter Kettle of International Tin Research Institute (ITRI) was that Indonesian sellers were not prepared to follow the London Metal Exchange price down.

David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets commented that the Indonesian members could be testing the market and if the reaction was positive then maybe there was some underlying strength in the market.

The Bloomberg article also said smelters don’t want to sell cheap because ore prices are very high and prefer to build up stockpiles, on expectations that the price will rise to a decent level, probably at USD$23,000 a ton.

The decision was defended by Jabin Sufianto, chairman of Association of Indonesian Tin Exporters, stating that the weak trade on the ICDX was simply because of the price.

Trade on the ICDX totalled 4,855 tons in August, 3,810 tons in July and 4,660 tons in June, exchange data show. On September 11 cargoes of the metal were sold above the London price and prior to that the last trade was on August 27, when the PB300 contract, the most active, was at $22,080 a ton. That was $398 above the LME spot price that day, Bloomberg calculations show. Inventories tracked by the LME climbed 4.4 per cent to 12,295 tons in August. The reserves dropped 1,085 tons to 10,210 tons yesterday, the lowest since May, according to LME data compiled by Bloomberg.

Implemented by the Indonesian government, the minimum price for tin contracts is decided by an exchange committee in the ICDX daily. Sales made through an auction system can’t be made below this daily rate, which is officially known as the Suggested Opening Bid.

According to BNP Paribas SA, it is reported that the global demand for tin will outstrip supplies for a fifth year in 2014. The market will have a global deficit of 13,000 tons this year and 10,000 tons in 2015.

Source Bloomberg: Tin Smelters in Indonesia Holding Out for Premiums to LME