JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Belgium’s Nyrstar plans to suspend arbitration proceedings against Australia’s New Century Resources after the parties agreed to a binding term sheet for five-and-a-half years of zinc concentrate offtake.
In a joint statement issued on Monday, New Century and Nyrstar said that the term sheet covered 600 000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of zinc concentrate from the Century zinc mine, in north-west Queensland.
The agreement includes a variable tonnage allocation of 250 000 dmt of zinc concentrate for the first 3.5 years, rising to 350 000 dmt for the final two years of the offtake agreement. This represents about 15% and 35%, respectively, of scheduled production at New Century.
New Century is reopening the zinc mine and is targeting first zinc concentrate production in the third quarter of this year.
Earlier this month, Nyrstar submitted arbitration proceedings over legacy contracts to purchase zinc concentrate from the Century mine. At the time, New Century said that it understood that Nyrstar had entered into agreements to purchase zinc concentrate from the Century mine in 2007, but that these agreements had been terminated “some time ago and prior to the company’s acquisition of the mine”.