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Now with the big computer boys (Dell, HP) complying with the European directive of using no lead in there solder, and US thinking of using an alternative to Lead in there bullets.


Tin is the only real alternative.


The solder issue will increase the demand of tin by 10,000 tons ayear and from the London Metal exchange, reserves will be lower than 10,000 tons by the middle of this year.








Australia Largest Miner To Double Output As Tin Soars



SYDNEY, APRIL 2: AustraliaÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s largest tin miner, Marlborough Resources NL, aims to more than double output this year, encouraged by a dramatic rise in tin prices, a senior company executive said on Friday.




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"ItÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s hard to believe, but tinÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s gone from a 100-year low of $3,600 a tonne two years ago to nearly $9,000 today," Deputy Chairman Chris Storey indicated. "Demand is simply outweighing supply right now and we donÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢t see that ending any time soon," Mr Storey said in an interview.


China, which mines about 35 per cent of the worldÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s tin, has cut its exports to a dribble, while Indonesia, with a similar share of the world market, has done the same. "This is causing a real squeeze on stockpiles," he stressed. "We want to take full advantage of that... This time next year we will be producing more tin than we are now," Mr Storey explained.


Marlborough is expanding the Ardlethan mine in eastern Australia to produce 2,200 tonnes annually by the end of 2004 and has indicated it wants to buy or discover more mines, potentially in partnership with its 30 per cent shareholder Malaysian Smelting Corp BHD. "The tin price has brought new investors out of the woodwork," Mr Storey pointed out.


Malaysian Smelting buys all of MalboroughÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s concentrates. The Ardlethan mine now yields about 1,000 tonnes a year, afraction of the 314,000 tonne of tin commodities analysts expect solder makers, ammunitions manufacturers, producers of galvanised steel and other users of the metal will consume in 2004.


Tin futures prices broke above $9,000 a tonne in early Friday trade on the London Metal Exchange, trading to their highest levels in 14-ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚« years. With a meagre 6,840 tonne of zinc stored in LME warehouses -- the number falls to 4,750 tonne after cancelled floor warrants -- industrial users of tin will be scrambling to secure enough of the metal to meet manufacturing needs, he averred.


Few new tin mines were developed in the years following the 1985 collapse of the International Tin Council buffer stock scheme, which controlled the ebb and flow of the metal on world markets until it ran out of money to buy surplus supply.


Now with environmental drives in North America and Europe to replace hazardous lead metal with tin in everything from solder to bullets to wine cork seals, the metal is becoming hard to find. "The current inventories mean there is only enough tin to meet eight days consumption in a market typically holding 35 days worth," Mr Storey said.


As AustraliaÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s only dedicated miner of tin -- Sons of Gwalia Ltd mines about 300 tonne a year from its Greenbushes lode as a by-product of lithium -- Marlborough has seen record turnover in its stock, with roughly about 10 per cent of shares on issue changing hands in the last week.


The stock has traded between 2.7 cents and 6.1 cents in the last 12 months, gaining 15 per cent over the period, compared with 19 per cent in the wider Australian market. It closed at 4.6 cents on Friday, giving it a market capitalisation of $16 million. Mr Storey averred that it would not be drawn on any interest Marlborough may have in the now-idled Renison tin mine in Tasmania, Australia. The mine was closed indefinitely in May last year and placed in voluntary financial administration as it wrestled with $31 million in debts. Sydney-based investment group Bluestone Nominees purchased the mine last month and plans to eventually restart operations.


Latest company figures showed the Renison mine yielded 1,412 tonne of tin between January 1 and March 31, 2003.


Elsewhere, Malachite Resources NL has begun exploration work to rekindle the Elsinore tin mine, also in eastern Australia.







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London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month tin is facing an uptrend in 2019, going back to over US$20,000/t for the first time since late July 2018. LME tin stocks have been maintained at record low levels since Q2 2017.


Roskill view

Besides the record low in LME stocks, several other reasons may be contributing to price rises in 2019. The trend might be a reflex to growing US-China trade hopes after official talks in recent weeks. The prices of other metals such as copper, nickel, zinc and lead also rose. Increasing prices might also be a response to the largely overlooked role of tin as solder in the high technology revolution. Tin was singled out as the market most impacted relative to its size in a 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study commissioned by Rio Tinto.



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  • ... Tin metal prices close to breaking through $US30,000 per tonne (A$37,300/tonne) barrier for first time since 2011
  • ... 'Demand for tin has accelerated in recent months' – International Tin Association
  • ... Shipping delays, rains in Indonesia, accelerating demand from chemical and electronics sectors, all drive up tin's price


Australia has only one major tin-producing mine, Renison Bell in Tasmania, and its production goes to export customers as domestic consumption is quite low.

"All of the tin mined there is exported to smelters in Asia; there is no smelting capacity in Australia," said Willoughby. "Domestic demand for tin is relatively small – around 250-350 tonnes per year. If there was a smelter in Australia, mining at Renison would be more than adequate for Australian demand," he said.

Renison Bell's operator and 50 per cent owner Metals X (ASX:MLX) said the mine produced 2,000 tonnes of tin-in-concentrate in the December-ended quarter, down 14 per cent on the September-ended quarter. All in sustaining cash costs for the Renison mine were $US20,978 per tonne in the December quarter, and the mine has a production target of 8,200 to 8,500 tonnes for the 2021FY.


There are ASX companies developing tin projects in Australia to supply the export market in the years ahead. They include Australian Tin Mining (ASX:ANW),

Stellar Resources (ASX:SRZ), and

Venture Minerals (ASX:VMS).

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