Almina-Minas halts zinc and lead concentrate operations at Aljustrel

12th September 2023 By: Reuters

LONDON - Almina-Minas do Alentejo will halt production of zinc and lead concentrates at it Aljustrel operation from September 24 until the second quarter of 2025 because zinc prices are too low, the Portuguese company said in an email.

Profitability has become a problem for zinc producers in Europe facing sliding prices and rising production costs.

Benchmark zinc prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) have tumbled nearly 30% since late January to around $2 500 a metric ton on Tuesday.

Privately owned Almina produced 215 000 tons of zinc concentrate and 50 000 tons of lead concentrate which would amount to around 99 000 tons of zinc metal and 20 000 tons of lead metal, respectively.

Swedish miner Boliden has suspended production at its Tara mine in Ireland, Europe's largest zinc mine, because of "unsustainable financial losses".

Tara produced 103 000 tons of zinc in concentrate last year, 40% of Boliden's zinc concentrate output.