RPT-Teck ships 1st zinc from Washington mine after restart

Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:44am EST
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NEW YORK Dec 17 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd. said on Wednesday it has shipped its first zinc concentrate from the Pend Oreille mine in Washington state following the restart of the mine which was idled during the global economic crisis in 2009.

The material will be delivered to British Colombia in Canada, a major hub for zinc production in North America.

The mine is expected to produce 44,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate annually.

The mine was put on care and maintenance five years ago when prices were around $1,100 per tonne, below the cost of production for much of the world's mines and its restart comes as concerns mount about the impact of major mine closures on global supplies.

The biggest closure will be MMG's Century mine in Queensland which will shutter in 2016.

Prices on the London Metal Exchange are up 3 percent so far in 2014, although they hit three-year highs of $2,416 a tonne in July, on a string of mine closures in recent years, including the Brunswick and Perseverence mines in Canada, formerly operated by Glencore Xtrata.

Three-month zinc futures on the London Metals Exchange have since come off and were trading at $2,118 as of 10:15 a.m. EDT (1515 GMT). (Reporting by Luc Cohen; Editing by James Dalgleish)