Korea Zinc, Teck agree 10 pct increase in zinc treatment charges

CANCUN Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:00am GMT

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CANCUN Feb 26 (Reuters) - Canadian metals miner Teck and smelter Korea Zinc have agreed to zinc processing fees of $210.50 per tonne for 2013, up more than 10 percent from last year's benchmark of $191, delegates at the International Zinc Conference told Reuters.

"Everyone expected the treatment charges to be higher as there is plenty of supply and less demand of concentrates from China compared with last year," a source at an Asian zinc producer said.

When supplies of concentrate are in surplus, miners have to pay higher processing fees to smelters to refine it into zinc. Last year, the zinc processing agreement between Teck and Korea Zinc helped to establish the 2012 benchmark at $191 a tonne.

The agreement is based on a $2,000 per tonne London Metal Exchange (LME) zinc price .

"I heard of the Korea Zinc and Teck deal," a representative from a western mining company said, adding that he hasn't yet heard of any European smelters agreeing to processing deals.

Teck and Korea Zinc were not immediately available for comment.

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