New Century optimistic about zinc in spite of soft markets

New Century Resources has maintained its June quarter guidance at the Century mine in Queensland despite a four-year low in zinc prices.

The company is tracking mid-range to the June quarter guidance of 31,500–38,500 tonnes of zinc metal, at direct production (C1) costs of $US0.73–$US0.82 ($1.14–$1.28) per pound.

Expansion of the Century mine to 12 million tonnes per annum throughput is also targeted to occur over the remainder of the June period, with it achieving up to 11.3 million tonnes per annum mining rate to date.

New Century anticipates operations to be “cashflow neutral to positive” starting from the June quarter, where it plans to declare commercial production at the end of June.

“Century operations are well positioned to maintain continuity of supply into the zinc market due to the relative remoteness of operations, low worker-to-production ratio and the fact that the company is the sole user of its 100 per cent-owned logistics infrastructure (airport, pipeline and port facility),” New Century stated in its March quarterly report.

“There has been no effect on sales into China or other destinations to date, with the company experiencing substantially increased product demand due to the significant global zinc concentrate supply cuts resulting from COVID-19 industry shutdowns in other locations.”

New Century has sold all production to date and continued to receive sales orders more than a quarter in advance.

The company has delivered 35 shipments to 12 different smelters on three continents.

It has emerged as one of the top 10 zinc producers in Australia by output, following Glencore (the Mt Isa and McArthur River mines in Queensland and the Gulf of Carpentaria, respectively) and MMG (the Dugald River mine in Queensland).

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