Macquarie Commodities Comment, Tin – did you step in?

In July, the Macquarie Commodities Research Report suggested that it was a good time to get into tin. Their end of year Commodities the change in the Indonesian export policy at the end of August.

Stellar has spoken about the changes in the Indonesian tin trade policy over the past few months. The new policy requires all tin ingot sales to be conducted through the Indonesian Commodities Derivatives Exchange (ICDX) before export.

Macquarie reported that market participants on the ICDX are now successfully adapting to the new protocol, and there is an increase in the number of trading members as well as increase of export volumes for December.

The report also mentioned that the demand side looks to be recovering steadily and with the shortage of new mine supply projects in the pipeline, medium-term prospects continue to look favourable for tin.

Source: Macquarie Commodities Research

Welcome to tin valley

Move over Silicon Valley, tin is coming for you. Recent research has found that tin could be the next material to be used in computer chips and microprocessors.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University has found that a single layer of tin atoms may be the first material in the world to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate.
This new material, which has not yet been fabricated, is named Stanene. This is derived from the Latin name for tin (stannum) and the suffix used in graphene, another single layer material with novel electrical properties.
Stanene is what is known as a ‘topological insulator’, meaning its interior is an insulator but it conducts electrons along its surface. By making the material only a single atom thick, the Stanene is essentially all surface, allowing it to conduct electricity with 100 per cent efficiency.
Topological insulators force electrons to move in defined lanes without any speed limit because there is no resistance; this should lead to significantly reduced power consumption and heat production of microprocessors.
Researchers predict the first application for the material could be replacing the old copper wires that connect the many sections of a microprocessor leading to many more circuit structures including eventually replacing silicon in the heart of transistors.
The electronics industry is currently the biggest consumer of tin in the world, accounting for 43.7 per cent of tin produced in 2011. This may increase if Stanene continues to prove its worth as a beneficial product. Further experiments are currently being conducted around the world to confirm these initial findings.
Source: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University

Adding fluorine atoms (yellow) to a 2-D monolayer of tin atoms (grey) should allow a predicted new material, stanene, to offer zero resistance along its edges (blue and red arrows) at temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit). (Yong Xu/Tsinghua University; Greg Stewart/SLAC)
Adding fluorine atoms (yellow) to a 2-D monolayer of tin atoms (grey) should allow a predicted new material, stanene, to offer zero resistance along its edges (blue and red arrows) at temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit). (Yong Xu/Tsinghua University; Greg Stewart/SLAC)

Mines and Money London

Stellar Resources CEO, Peter Blight, attended Mines and Money in London this month where he sat down to speak with Jeremy Naylor from Proactive Investors about Stellar’s Heemskirk Tin Project and the benefits of its location for infrastructure and labour. He discussed the ways Stellar is optimising its preliminary feasibility study before moving on to complete a definitive assessment of the Heemskirk Project.

Stellar in The Australian

Stellar was given a promising outlook for 2014 in today’s The Australian newspaper in an article written by Barry Fitzgerald, Resources Editor.

Barry reported on the Indonesian government’s plans to proceed with a mineral ore export ban from 12 January 2014, how this is expected to drive up the price of tin and the positive impact it may have on the stocks of Australian mineral developers and producers such as Stellar.

The article discusses Stellar’s plans to move into production at the Heemskirk Tin Project in Tasmania by 2016 and the project’s potential value based on an increased tin price.

Click here to read the full article.

ITRI Investing in Tin Seminar

During the International Tin Reasearch Institute (ITRI) Investing in Tin Seminar, held in London on Friday 29 November, various speakers painted a brighter outlook for tin prices in 2014 over 2013.

Commodity Research Unit (CRU) got the ball rolling with a macroeconomic outlook calling for stronger growth from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. South East Asia and Africa are expected to provide spice to this outlook, rather than Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC countries) as has been the case up until 2011. Under the CRU scenario, annual tin demand growth is expected to return two per cent after a very flat 2012 and an only slightly better 2013.

Both BNP Paribas and ITRI thought that supply constraints would again be a feature of the market and result in an increased market deficit of up to 12,000 tonnes in 2014 (compared to an estimate of 7,000 tonnes in 2013).

In conclusion, an average annual price estimate of US$26,000/tonne was offered for 2014 by ITRI – suggesting that at some stage during the year the tin price would rise well above this level. Longer-term, ITRI believe that hybrid battery technology is likely to become a significant driver of tin demand growth with lead-acid, lithium-ion, magnesium-ion and sodium-ion all using various amounts of tin in their formulations.

Tin, the energy saver

Tin and its compounds (tin (IV) oxide, tin (IV) chloride, butyltin trichloride, methyltin trichloride, dimethyltin dichloride) have found a new home, in the building industry as a vital ingredient for the development of low-emissivity glass or Low-eGlass, as it is most commonly known.

For many years, very thin films of tin oxide coating have been used to strengthen and ensure scratch resistance in glass bottles and jars.

Low-eGlass is coated in layers of tin oxide during production. It can reflect up to 70 per cent of infrared radiation, energy that turns into heat inside a building, and at the same time allows visible light to pass into the building unhindered.

According to the International Tin Research Institute (ITRI), there is a lot of interest being shown in thicker films of tin-based coatings. Tin film remains fully transparent to the eye and is electrically conductive when mixed with a number of different elements.

The result of the advantages for tin-based coatings has seen a widespread and growing use of the film in electroluminescent displays, electrical field shielding, de-icing windscreens for aircraft and cars, as well as Low-eGlass windows in buildings.

The cost savings available for homeowners from reduced energy bills has seen Low-eGlass become a popular choice when building a new home.

Low-eGlass also reflects interior heat back into the building as it tries to escape to the colder temperatures outside during winter, and also reflects ultraviolet light, which helps prevents furniture from fading.

The amount of glass being coated for all of these products is very large. According to ITRI, the area of glass being coated in the global market is estimated to consume 4,000 – 5,000 tonnes of tin every year and this amount is predicted to rise rapidly as the need for people to be conscious of energy consumption increases.

Tin is helping to create a more comfortable place to live whilst at the same time keeping increasing energy costs down.

Source: ITRI

Tin ousts copper as metal market darling

An article published on this week names tin as the metal market’s best performer, helping to displace copper as the market ‘darling’ on the back of the Indonesian tin market rule change. Stellar Resources CEO, Peter Blight, was quoted in the article saying, “The revival of the tin price brings a lot more investor interest into the sector and highlights in people’s minds that the tin market is tightening up.”

Buyers are increasingly registering on Indonesia’s central exchange, he says, with those producers holding out for an alternative contract becoming sidelined. “I think Indonesia is going to work through the changes, but I don’t think you’ll see production move rapidly back to the high levels seen during the first six months of 2013. On the demand side, it’s just a question of time before a bounce-back in electronics production drives increased tin consumption and we’re certainly seeing some green-shoots there.”

To read the full article online click here.

Indonesia vows to stick with tin trade policy as prices jump

The Indonesian government plans to stick with a rule change requiring tin producers to trade the metal locally before export, curbing supplies from the biggest shipper, and says the model may be applied to other commodities.

Bloomberg reported that the rule change, which took effect August 30, is part of wider government efforts to boost the value of commodity shipments from South-East Asia’s largest economy. Indonesia has ordered mining companies to build smelters as it plans to ban raw mineral-ore shipments from January 2014.

Read the full report here.