Global tin mine production will grow at a slower rate of 0.9% a year between 2019 and 2028, compared with a growth rate of 2.1% a year over 2009 to 2018, research firm Fitch Solution estimates.
The modest production growth rate will, however, be supported by rising tin prices, it adds.
Fitch expects production growth to remain at low levels owing to stringent environmental regulations, such as those implemented in Malaysia, and declining ore grades in major tin producing countries, including China.
In terms of absolute tonnage, China will still dominate tin production, producing about 94 100 t/y by 2028.
However, China's share of global production will gradually decline from 29% in 2018 to 27.7% in 2028, which will be offset by increases in tin production from the Democratic Republic of Congo and producers in South America.
Fitch forecasts that China’s tin mine production will grow by an average 0.4% a year over 2019 to 2028, up from the -1.6% average yearly growth rate in the prior ten-year period.
However, China’s production growth will remain capped in the coming years owing to expected mine closures ahead, as a result of the government's supply side reforms aimed at tackling environmental concerns.
Indonesia’s tin production should register a yearly average growth rate of 0.9% over 2019 to 2023, compared with 2% recorded over the prior five-year period, as changing regulation tapers production in the long term.
Fitch says tin prices should incentivise higher output over the coming years globally.
A new Myanmar Mining Law implemented in 2018 has sparked interest from foreign and domestic mining firms, increasing permit applications for new mining projects including tin. As of April last year, the government received 1 661 mining permit applications. In addition, China’s largest tin concentrate producer Yunnan Tin is currently exploring in the country.
Fitch notes that Myanmar will maintain its status as a top ten tin producer globally over the period to 2028. The firm expects Myanmar to account for 12.2% of global production by 2028, although downside risks to the forecast will emerge with the possibility of opencast mining shifting to underground mining in the country, which will slow down production in coming years.
Fitch adds that rising tin prices will also lead to improving margins for the domestic producers in Peru, Australia and Bolivia.