Yunnan Tin smelter shuts down Ausmelt furnace to replace refractory lining

Yunnan Tin has two smelters in China, one in Yunnan province, and the other in Hunan. Together, the two smelters produced some 76,500 tonnes of refined tin in 2020, with the majority coming from the Yunnan smelter.
This Yunnan smelter – which is one of the largest in the world – uses Ausmelt technology. While this allows Yunnan Tin to process lower grade ores compared to other furnace technologies, the internal brick layer often needs replacing, and is generally done annually. To replace the bricks, the smelter must be completely shut down. The company has announced that the maintenance could take up to 45 days.
While Yunnan Tin has included the maintenance in its annual production forecast, the shutdown comes at a time when both the international and Chinese markets are struggling for tin supply.
In the Chinese market, production has recently been curtailed due to power shortages in Yunnan province. While these producers are beginning to come back online, the market has been tighter than in recent months, when significant volumes of refined tin were exported overseas. Due to the tightness, stocks of refined tin on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) have nearly halved in recent months

Despite coming under pressure last week, tin prices have recovered strongly on the back of consistent news of supply disruptions. The extended lockdown in Malaysia will see MSC unable to restart production, while Yunnan Tin’s annual maintenance has begun. However, despite rising COVID cases in Indonesia, exchange sales have risen to exceed 6,000 tonnes again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *