CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Betting on end to glut, miners hunt for new zinc deposits

Tue Nov 5, 2013 6:45pm EST
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(In paragraph 20 corrects to show Pomorzany-Olkusz mine is owned by Stalprodukt, not Rathdowney Resources. In paragraph 33, corrects to show Glencore Xstrata owns 62.7 percent of Blackthorn's mine project, not 62.2 percent of Blackthorn.)

* Top miners join search for new zinc projects

* Anticipating a supply deficit will soon replace glut

* Rising demand for rust-proof galvanised steel in China

* As ageing mines close and China demand climbs, zinc price could rise

By James Regan

SYDNEY, Nov 5 (Reuters) - A global hunt is on to find new deposits of zinc as China buys more of the metal to rust-proof new cars and coat steel used to build bridges and skyscrapers.

Multinationals such as Swiss-based Glencore Xstrata , Belgium's Nyrstar and China's MMG are funding new mines from Africa to the Yukon on expectations that an oversupply of zinc will turn into a deficit.

Along with mining veterans such as former Newmont head Pierre Lassonde, who holds a stake in Canada's Foran Mining , they are also investing just as ageing mines accounting for a tenth of world consumption start to shut.   Continued...