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Chile's Antofagasta agrees 2022 copper charges with some Chinese smelters -sources

reuters.com · 12/29/2021 09:35
Chile's Antofagasta agrees 2022 copper charges with some Chinese smelters -sources

Chilean miner agrees annual TC/RCs of $65/T and 6.5 cents/lb

Some smelters have already signed up, others will soon -source

Rates cement 2022 benchmark after Freeport settlement on Dec 16

- Chilean miner Antofagasta PLC ANFGF has agreed to supply copper concentrate to some Chinese smelters at treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) of $65 a tonne and 6.5 cents per lb next year, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The annual rates are the same as those that U.S.-based miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc FCX agreed with major Chinese copper smelters on Dec. 16, cementing $65 and 6.5 cents as the TC/RC benchmark for 2022. nL1N2T12ND

Miners pay TC/RCs to smelters to process ore into refined metal. The first annual settlement between a major miner - in recent years Freeport or Antofagasta - and a Chinese smelter in the fourth-quarter "mating season" usually becomes the benchmark for the year ahead and is used in supply contracts globally.

Several Chinese smelters have already agreed annual terms with Antofagasta and the remainder should sign up by the end of this week, one of the sources said. The second source concurred some deals had been closed and others were still pending.

Both sources declined to be identified as the discussions are private. Antofagasta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At a meeting of the China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) on Wednesday, Chinese copper smelters kept their spot TC/RC floor at $70 per tonne and 7 cents per lb for the first quarter of 2022. nL1N2TE04M

CSPT members are not supposed to agree rates below the floor price in any spot processing deals for imported copper concentrate.

(Reporting by Tom Daly
Editing by Bernadette Baum)

((tom.daly@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 5669 2119;))