WEEK IN BRIEF: DRC metal impounded; Fanya protest; zinc price slump; Al conference; Evraz Highveld rescue plan

Here's a round-up of just some of the metal market news covered by Metal Bulletin's reporters this week.

About 200 trucks carrying copper and cobalt from mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo were impounded at the Zambian border earlier this week due to a legal dispute involving Gécamines, sources said. Details are here.
Cobalt news also came from China. The country’s State Reserve Bureau has purchased “a large sum” of cobalt metal in its latest stockpiling effort, according to sources. Earlier in the week, rumours over the bureau’s activity caused cobalt prices to rise in China.
And Jerry Shao, gm of Chinese cobalt salt maker Zhejiang Galico Cobalt & Nickel Material, was arrested on July 16 by local police on fraud charges relating to financial warrants, according to a company official.
Staying in China, more than a thousand Fanya Metal Exchange investors gathered outside the headquarters of China’s financial regulator in Beijing on Monday this week, urging the government to step in over the crisis. Click here for the full story.
The Kunming-based minor metals exchange has been consulting investors on possible ways to help recoup their investments. Meanwhile, a consultation on its restructuring plan is due to be completed by the end of this month.
To view all of Metal Bulletin’s Fanya coverage click here.
This week on the London Metal Exchange (LME), zinc prices slipped to five-year lows and were below lead prices for the first time since June 2014. James Heywood had details on the price move.
And click here for our latest rolling price report and Friday’s base metals activity on the LME.
News was coming in thick and fast from Metal Bulletin’s 30th Aluminium Conference. The 25% drop in London Metal Exchange aluminium prices over the past year means that a large portion of producers are underwater, according to a panel of industry executives speaking at the event in Vancouver.
Andrea Hotter caught up with UC Rusal’s Steve Hodgson, who said China will not be able to export its way out of the country’s aluminium over-capacity problem.
Even so, Chinese aluminium exports to western markets will remain high, in the form of both standard products and so-called "fake semis", Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Kamil Wlazly said.
Click here for all our coverage of the conference.
Capital spending cuts by mining companies are far from over, according to one metal strategist. Sister title AMM had the story.
In Tapped In, Claire Hack had the details on International Resources Ltd, the preferred bidder for Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium.
And the arrival of the South African company’s highly anticipated rescue plan resulted in speculation on the possible consequences for the vanadium market.
Meanwhile, business rescue practitioners of troubled South African vanadium and iron mine Mapochs Mine, in which Evraz Highveld holds the majority share, requested another extension to the deadline for the publication of their rescue plan.
Ferro-vanadium and ferro-tungsten prices in Europe tumbled further midweek, with more or less no signs of bottoming out. Claire Hack had the latest on noble alloy prices.
The European Commission is continuing its Indian silico-manganese anti-dumping investigation without imposing provisional measures, it said on Wednesday September 23. Here’s an overview of the inquiry’s findings so far.
Regarding people moves, Sam Hainsworth has joined Castleton Commodities International as head of physical metals trading, Metal Bulletin understands.
And HSBC Payments and Cash Management has appointed Lance Kawaguchi as md and global head of its Resources and Energy Group.
Charlotte Radford 
Twitter: @CRadford_MB

Charlotte Radford



Charlotte Radford

September 25, 2015

15:10 GMT