All though this article refers to pre britex vote the Information still remains a possibility.
It’s a widely-held view among investors that gold would be among the big beneficiaries of a Brexit. Some analysts reckon the price could rise by as much as 10 per cent to $1,400 after a vote to leave as nervous investors pile in looking for safe places to park cash.
But there are also reasons for thinking gold, a good barometer of risk, could suffer, at least in the near-term.
How markets react to Thursday’s vote is a huge unknown but one thing investors have learnt since the financial crisis is how quickly liquidity can dry up and impact markets.
“In previous episodes of severe financial markets stresses gold has been positively correlated with other assets, at least for a short time, as liquidity dries up, spreads widen and margin calls proliferate,” says Tom Kendall, analyst at ICBC Standard Bank.
With investors having amassed a near record long position in gold ahead of the vote, any sell-off could be sharp if short, warns Mr Kendall.
If there is a clear vote to remain, however, bullion will come under pressure although the precious metal is likely to find support from other uncertainties such as the outcome of the US election and the pace of global economic growth.
“Concerns over negative real rates, the US election and Chinese debt levels are also worrying investors,” says George Cheveley, co-manager of the Investec Global Gold fund. “Whilst the referendum has had an influence on gold prices in the last two weeks, the effect has been small compared to the impact of US interest rate and US dollar moves over the past few months.”
The UK makes up just 1.6 per cent of world oil demand, so crude should not be too affected by a Brexit vote, many traders think. But some analysts think the market is being blasé.
The oil market, while primarily driven long term by supply and demand, can be heavily influenced in the short term by currency moves and traders’ risk appetite. In the event of a Brexit the US dollar is expected to strengthen sharply, weighing across dollar-denominated commodities as they become more expensive for holders of other currencies.
There may also be a flight to safety — in such a sell-off oil tends to get dumped by the fast-money in favour of assets like gold. The Greece crisis in 2012 helped trigger a near 30 per cent drop in the oil price, albeit from a level well above its current price of $50 a barrel.
Demand is also not entirely removed from the equation. While the UK’s 64m people consume only 1.6m barrels a day — compared to 19.6m b/d in the US, the world’s largest oil consumer — the total EU bloc covers more than 500m people and accounts for almost 15 per cent of global oil demand (12.5m b/d). A Brexit is expected to be followed by greater uncertainty across the EU, probably hampering growth in an area where oil demand was already declining for much of the past decade.
Energy Aspects, a London-based consultancy, forecast that Brexit could drive oil prices down to “the low 40s” from near $50 a barrel currently given the “weakness in physical crude markets.”
“The uncertainty will continue to rattle financial markets, not just for the potential slowdown in UK and European economic growth if the UK voted to leave, but also due to the possibility it would trigger similar referendums in other European countries such as France, the Netherlands, and Sweden, threatening the foundations of the 28-country bloc,” said Energy Aspects.
As one of the few commodity contracts still denominated in sterling, UK natural gas could be volatile on Friday. If Britain votes to stay sterling would probably rally against the euro, something that would weigh on the benchmark National Balancing Point contract — an important reference price for the European gas market. If the opposite happens the NBP contract could rise sharply, impacting other gas markets that are closely tied to the UK such as the Netherlands.
Cocoa traders are also on high alert. That’s because the chocolate-making ingredient is traded on both sides of the Atlantic, with the London contract denominated in sterling and the New York equivalent in dollars.
A Brexit vote and a sharp fall in sterling would cheapen the London cocoa contract’s value for dollar buyers, hence boosting the contract in the short term. This in turn could lead to arbitrageurs selling the dollar based contract. A rally in the pound could lead to the opposite move.
“All-else equal, a sharp slide in the pound against the US dollar upon a Brexit vote should be negative for cocoa prices [traded] on the Intercontinental Exchange, in our view,” say analysts at Citigroup.
Aluminium, copper, zinc and other industrial metals closely track the movements in the US dollar. As such, a vote to leave would hit prices if the US dollar strengthened. A reduction in risk appetite would also weigh on industrial metals for a time.
Copper has shown the most sensitivity to the US dollar in the run-up to the referendum so in theory it should be hit hardest by a vote to leave. But with a record number of bets against copper on Comex, the US-based metals exchange, some Brexit concerns are already priced in.
“The currency factor will impact the metals most sensitive to the dollar and the general wave of risk aversion those with . . . the weakest fundamentals,” said analysts at Société Générale this week.
As for base metals pricing, there would be little impact from a vote to leave. Mainland Europe does not have a competitor to the London Metal Exchange — which plays a pivotal role in setting global metal prices. On the demand side of the equation, it is China not Europe that is the world’s biggest consumer of metals.
In summary . . .
Overall, a Brexit can be expected to weigh on commodities prices through their linkage to the US dollar and impact on risk appetite.
“A look back at previous major risk-off events shows commodities underperform during periods of significant macro/political uncertainty, at least over the short term,” say analysts at Citi.
Sterling remained stuck around the $1.39 mark on Thursday, after the heavy toll taken on the pound by Brexit fears this week took it to seven-year lows.
It slipped a further 0.1 per cent in early trade, touching $1.3917, having closed at $1.3926 on Wednesday, when it inched off session lows of $1.3876, it’s weakest level against the dollar since 2009.
Compared with highs half a year ago, sterling has dropped 8 per cent against the euro, 9.5 per cent against the US dollar and 17 per cent against the yen.Analysts said its fall is no longer a reflection of the Bank of England’s changed attitude towards interest rates, but the political risk associated with a country contemplating a huge change in its international economic relations.
Oliver Jones, of Fathom Consulting, said there were many fundamental reasons for sterling to fall, including Britain’s persistent trade deficit, and the referendum is forcing investors to stop ignoring them. “It may prove to be the key that opens the trap door under sterling,” he said.
Sterling’s fall so far is significantly smaller than that in 2007-08 and will raise the price of imports, while allowing exporters either to reduce their foreign currency prices or keep them the same, increasing their profit margins.
In the medium term, a depreciating currency should reduce imports because they are less competitive with domestic production and increase exports, although the short term effect can be to increase the trade deficit as Britain takes time to reduce the volumes of imports and simply has to pay more in the immediate future.
But, as ever in economics, the effect of sterling’s decline will also reflect its cause, with a concerted loss of faith in the British economy much more serious than a natural decline in the value of the pound.
In the medium term, most economists think weaker sterling should stimulate the economy and help it to rebalance towards exports. “The much longed for rebalancing of the economy probably requires a significantly lower exchange rate,” says Vicky Redwood, of Capital Economics.
More important than the medium-term effects, however, for business are immediate winners and losers in the corporate sector dependent on whether they are hedged against currency changes, have predominantly foreign revenues or foreign costs.
Original story by: Chris Giles, Economics Editor
Original story at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/caf3e77e-db0e-11e5-98fd-06d75973fe09.html#axzz4D3TxsRcy
A protest planned outside the company headquarters in Sydney will be matched by others around the world by people affected by Glencore mines
The McArthur River mine in the Northern Territory – one of the world’s biggest zinc, lead and silver mines – must shut immediately and owner Glencore must cover the clean-up costs, say traditional owners who will protest outside the company’s headquarters in Sydney on Thursday.
Coinciding with Glencore’s annual general meeting in Switzerland on Thursday, a delegation of the four groups that share responsibility for the river – the Gudanji, Garawa, Yanyula and Mara people – will be joined by protests in other communities impacted by Glencore mines around the world. Protests will occur in Bangladesh, South Africa, Zambia and London, organising under the banner #makethempay.
A 2014 independent report found the mine contaminated the McArthur river, concluding 90% of fish stock in a nearby creek had shown dangerously high levels of lead.
Residents and environmentalists have also complained of a large pile of smouldering waste, which the independent report said was polluting surrounding water and emitting poisonous fumes.
Glencore then delayed erecting signs warning of the contaminated fish for over a year, despite members of the clans that control the river fishing extensively from it for food. The mining group, which turned five executives into paper billionaires when it floated on the London stock market in 2011, later said it was waiting for regulatory approval from authorities for the signs.
Government documents later showed the Northern Territory government and Glencore knew about the signs of contamination but did not fully inform the communities.
Glencore now has plans to double the size of the mine, but will need to submit an application to the federal government for approval.
The company has denied polluting the river, pointing to other 2014 findings which did not show evidence of “mine-derived lead” in McArthur river and Surprise creek, and only recorded elevated levels in “small non-eating fish deep within the mine itself”.
“Glencore had no right to poison our river and damage the land,” said Gadian Hoosan, spokesman for the Garawa Land Trust, whose land is situated downstream of the mine. “All four clan groups rely on that river. It was our main food source and livelihood and they took that away from us.”
Lauren Mellor from the Mineral Policy Institute’s legacy mines project, said the mine has been a disaster for people living downstream. “Instead of digging itself into a bigger hole by pursuing expansion plans, Glencore must move its operations to a closure and clean-up phase and guarantee rehabilitation of the site.”ActionAid helped facilitate the protests, and have been fighting what they say is Glencore’s “tax dodging” around the world.
Archie Law, the executive director of ActionAid, said: “Glencore is robbing communities all over the world of their livelihood and the public funds that should be paying for basic infrastructure and public services.”
original story Michael Slezak
Have you heard about TTIP? If your answer is no, don’t get too worried; you’re not meant to have
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a series of trade negotiations being carried out mostly in secret between the EU and US. As a bi-lateral trade agreement, TTIP is about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations. It is, as John Hilary, Executive Director of campaign group War on Want, said: “An assault on European and US societies by transnational corporations.”
Since before TTIP negotiations began last February, the process has been secretive and undemocratic. This secrecy is on-going, with nearly all information on negotiations coming from leaked documents and Freedom of Information requests.
But worryingly, the covert nature of the talks may well be the least of our problems. Here are six other reasons why we should be scared of TTIP, very scared indeed:
1 The NHS
Public services, especially the NHS, are in the firing line. One of the main aims of TTIP is to open up Europe’s public health, education and water services to US companies. This could essentially mean the privatisation of the NHS.
The European Commission has claimed that public services will be kept out of TTIP. However, according to the Huffington Post, the UK Trade Minister Lord Livingston has admitted that talks about the NHS were still on the table.
2 Food and environmental safety
TTIP’s ‘regulatory convergence’ agenda will seek to bring EU standards on food safety and the environment closer to those of the US. But US regulations are much less strict, with 70 per cent of all processed foods sold in US supermarkets now containing genetically modified ingredients. By contrast, the EU allows virtually no GM foods. The US also has far laxer restrictions on the use of pesticides. It also uses growth hormones in its beef which are restricted in Europe due to links to cancer. US farmers have tried to have these restrictions lifted repeatedly in the past through the World Trade Organisation and it is likely that they will use TTIP to do so again.
The same goes for the environment, where the EU’s REACH regulations are far tougher on potentially toxic substances. In Europe a company has to prove a substance is safe before it can be used; in the US the opposite is true: any substance can be used until it is proven unsafe. As an example, the EU currently bans 1,200 substances from use in cosmetics; the US just 12.
3 Banking regulations
TTIP cuts both ways. The UK, under the influence of the all-powerful City of London, is thought to be seeking a loosening of US banking regulations. America’s financial rules are tougher than ours. They were put into place after the financial crisis to directly curb the powers of bankers and avoid a similar crisis happening again. TTIP, it is feared, will remove those restrictions, effectively handing all those powers back to the bankers.
Remember ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)? It was thrown out by a massive majority in the European Parliament in 2012 after a huge public backlash against what was rightly seen as an attack on individual privacy where internet service providers would be required to monitor people’s online activity. Well, it’s feared that TTIP could be bringing back ACTA’s central elements, proving that if the democratic approach doesn’t work, there’s always the back door. An easing of data privacy laws and a restriction of public access to pharmaceutical companies’ clinical trials are also thought to be on the cards.
The EU has admitted that TTIP will probably cause unemployment as jobs switch to the US, where labour standards and trade union rights are lower. It has even advised EU members to draw on European support funds to compensate for the expected unemployment.
Examples from other similar bi-lateral trade agreements around the world support the case for job losses. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico caused the loss of one million US jobs over 12 years, instead of the hundreds of thousands of extra that were promised.
TTIP’s biggest threat to society is its inherent assault on democracy. One of the main aims of TTIP is the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. In effect it means unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically elected governments.
ISDSs are already in place in other bi-lateral trade agreements around the world and have led to such injustices as in Germany where Swedish energy company Vattenfall is suing the German government for billions of dollars over its decision to phase out nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Here we see a public health policy put into place by a democratically elected government being threatened by an energy giant because of a potential loss of profit. Nothing could be more cynically anti-democratic.
There are around 500 similar cases of businesses versus nations going on around the world at the moment and they are all taking place before ‘arbitration tribunals’ made up of corporate lawyers appointed on an ad hoc basis, which according to War on Want’s John Hilary, are “little more than kangaroo courts” with “a vested interest in ruling in favour of business.”
So I don’t know about you, but I’m scared. I would vote against TTIP, except… hang on a minute… I can’t. Like you, I have no say whatsoever in whether TTIP goes through or not. All I can do is tell as many people about it as possible, as I hope, will you. We may be forced to accept an attack on democracy but we can at least fight against the conspiracy of silence.
Zinc futures traded 0.24 per cent lower at Rs 124 per kg today as speculators trimmed positions even as metal strengthened at the London Metal Exchange (LME).
Zinc for delivery in current month declined by 30 paise, or 0.24 per cent, to Rs 124 per kg at the Multi Commodity Exchange, clocking a business turnover of 1,681 lots.
The metal for delivery in May softened by 25 paise, or 0.20 per cent, at Rs 124.90 per kg in 134 lots.
Analysts said the weakness in zinc at futures trade was mostly attributed to trimming of positions by speculators amid a weak trend at the domestic spot markets but firm overseas trend capped the losses.
Globally, at the LME where it traded near the eight month high of USD 1,899.50 per tonne as data showed that Chinese new-home prices increased, boosting prospects for demand, while stockpiles contracted.
Two of the largest banks in the world and the biggest commodities trader have been found to be innocent of claims that they fixed zinc prices.
A U.S. judge has thrown out a private lawsuit accusing Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), JP Morgan & Chase (OTCMKTS:JFTTL) and Glencore (LSE:GLEN) of conspiring to drive up the price of the metal used to protect steel against corrosion.
The 87-page decision reached in a New York district court found that "purchasers failed to show that the defendants artificially inflated zinc prices by violating the Sherman Act, a federal antitrust law," according to a January 7Reuters story.
The alleged conspiracy involved hoarding and moving zinc from one warehouse to another, falsifying records and manipulation London Metal Exchange (LME) rules. Metal purchasers claimed the moves caused artificial supply shortages that boosted prices, states the report. The judge however said other factors could have influenced prices.
"It remains possible that shenanigans drove up the price of physical zinc," Judge Katherine Forrest wrote. "But, at long last, plaintiffs have not adequately alleged that such price movement was due to a plausible antitrust violation, as opposed to parallel, unilateral conduct beyond the reach of that statutory scheme."
"Plaintiffs cannot adequately plead their broad, five-year conspiracy simply by noting developments in the zinc market, particularly when many of those developments occurred at vastly different times over the class period such that the possibility of causation is hard to assess," the judgment also states.
The proposed class action lawsuit claimed the conspiracy began in 2010.
The accusations of price fixing of course are nothing new to metals trading. In 2013 investors tried to show that JP Morgan violated federal antitrust and commodities laws by distorting silver prices between 2007 and 2010, however their claims were dismissed. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said allegations that the bank took large and ‘uneconomic’ short positions in silver were not enough to prove that it intended to manipulate the metal’s price. “An inference of intent cannot be drawn from the mere fact that JP Morgan had a strong short position,” they said.
The dismissed zinc lawsuit is similar to another case being heard in Manhattan alleging aluminum price manipulation, Reuters reports.
Zinc prices have traded between US$0.70 and $1.10 a pound over the last five years. Since mid-2014 they have fallen sharply, and currently stand at US$0.67 a pound.
original story at http://www.mining.com/morgan-sachs-glencore-found-not-guilty-of-driving-up-zinc-price/
by Andrew Topf | January 10, 2016
Zinc prices moved down 0.38 per cent to Rs 103.95 per kg in futures market today as speculators cut down their bets, tracking a weak trend in base metals overseas.
In futures trading at Multi Commodity Exchange, zinc for delivery in current month dropped 40 paise, or 0.38 per cent, to Rs 103.95 per kg, in a business turnover of 148 lots.
Metal for delivery in February also fell by a similar margin to trade at Rs 104.90 per kg, in a business turnover of two lots.
Marketmen said weakness in copper and other base metals at the London Metal Exchange (LME) amid continued speculation that China's economic slowdown and financial market volatility will roil metals market, mainly weighed on zinc prices in futures trade.
Globally, zinc on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 1.6 per cent to USD 1,548 a metric tonne.
Press Trust of India | New Delhi January 6, 2016 Last Updated at 10:57 IST
In the past, market watchers have reacted to that situation with concern. Here's why.« Pasinex Resources: Taking…
Will Potential Nyrstar Zi… »
The current uncertainty surrounding LME zinc stocks created an interesting situation at the beginning of October: lead began trading at a premium to zinc for the first time since June 2014.
In the past, market watchers have reacted to that situation with concern. The two metals are often found and mined together, and while that’s not normally an issue, it can be when one metal is faring better than the other.
The problem with by-productsTo explain why such activity can be concerning, analyst John Kaiser of Kaiser Research has used the copper and moly markets as an example. “The biggest downside threat to molybdenum prices lies with the giant Chilean copper deposits where adding a molybdenum recovery circuit is an afterthought easily made [when copper is doing well],” he has pointed out.
The result is that “molybdenum gets produced regardless of the molybdenum price once the initial decision to add the capacity has been made.”
Get Our Expert Guide to Zinc Investing FREE! Download this FREE Special Report, Zinc Commodity News and Zinc Market Outlook 2015.In the case of zinc and lead, market participants have worried in that past that a higher lead price might result in higher production of that metal, as well as zinc. And for good reason — in 2012, five of the seven zinc mines that came online worldwide were also significant lead producers.
That said, that issue is reportedly becoming less prominent. According to a 2013 CRU Group study, only about 20 percent of the 50 zinc projects being developed at that time contained lead as a by-product. In addition, zinc was seen developing links with other markets — most notably precious metals.
LME zinc stocks the issue?Perhaps reflecting those trends, the recent lead premium is instead interesting because, as mentioned, it reflects the uncertainty surrounding LME zinc and lead stocks.
Specifically, the zinc price has fallen on the back of rising LME zinc stocks at warehouses in New Orleans. However, according to Reuters’ Andy Home, the metal coming to New Orleans is actually “metal that was moved earlier this year to off-exchange storage now coming back into LME-registered sheds.” That means “[s]entiment … is being driven by what is largely storage arbitrage, irrespective of whose metal it is.”
Meanwhile, market watchers have been encouraged by lower LME lead stocks, which fell as LME zinc stocks rose. But again, Home believes that fluctuations in LME lead stocks are also not necessarily to taken at face value.
“[T]he key take-away here is that neither LME zinc nor lead stocks are saying anything particularly useful about underlying market conditions right now,” he states in a recent article.
InZinc Mining Ltd. (TSXV:IZN) has one of the best located and larger undeveloped zinc resources located in Utah and PEA results suggest it has the potential to be the highest returning (23% IRR after tax) zinc project within peer group. Connect with InZinc Mining to instantly receive their next catalyst.
The upshotHome concludes that lead’s premium over zinc is currently “small and tentative,” noting at the same time that “[t]he jury seems very much out on how the lead-zinc relative value trade is going to play out over the coming months with no clear consensus among analysts.”
Glencore’s (LSE:GLEN) October 8 announcement that it plans to cut its annual zinc output by 500,000 tonnes and its lead production by 100,000 tonnes will likely only add to that confusion. Home’s article was written before the major miner dropped that bomb, and while the lead price was still slightly higher than the zinc price later in the month, and about level with it heading into November, it’s tough to say what impact the news may have longer term.
For investors, one key takeaway seems to be to remember not to take information about LME zinc and lead stocks at face value. Another, at least for Home, is to keep in mind the broader picture: zinc and lead are stuck in an “ugly contest,” not a beauty contest, and neither has neared its supercycle peak in nearly a decade — investors should thus perhaps be wary of expecting sudden large moves from either metal.
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Charlotte McLeod • November 3, 2015
original story: http://investingnews.com/daily/resource-investing/base-metals-investing/zinc-investing/lme-zinc-stocks-lead-price-glencore/?nameplate_category=Zinc%20Investing
Dec 7 Belgium's Nyrstar NV said on Monday it was suspending operations at another mine as it seeks to reduce cash consumption in the face of weak zinc prices.
The company, the world's largest zinc smelter, said it would place its Middle Tennessee Mines on so-called care and maintenance, resulting in about 50,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate being taken out of the market.
Zinc metal production at Nyrstar's nearby Clarksville smelter would be reduced by about 7 percent, equivalent to some 9,000 tonnes per year. It would continue to be supplied by East Tennessee Mines and elsewhere.
"We continue to take decisive action to reduce spending in our mines, and further mine operation suspensions may be necessary if the depressed metals price environment continues," Nyrstar chief executive Bill Scotting said in a statement.
Nyrstar said last month it would consider cutting zinc concentrate output by 400,000 tonnes if prices remained depressed. That would be on top of 100,000 tonnes removed by the earlier suspension of its Myra Falls operations in Canada and Campo Morado operations in Mexico, it said.
Zinc three-month forward prices are hovering around six-year lows and are down a third since early May.
Nyrstar has also announced plans for a rights issue of 250-275 million euros ($272-299 million) to shore up its balance sheet and said it could even exit its poorly performing mining business.
"We expect to complete the process to divest the majority or all of our mines over the course of 2016," Scotting said on Monday.
($1 = 0.9206 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark Potter)
Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/nyrstar-mines-idUSL8N13W0UE20151207#J7HwHReZybhTqZLe.99
Ireland (Other OTC: IRLD - news) is feeling the strain as Europe's largest producer of zinc with global prices for the metal plummeting due to an economic slowdown in China and surplus supply on world markets.
The country's second largest mine is shutting down with the loss of 370 jobs because the zinc is running out and Indian owners Vedanta Resources Group have no plans for further production.
Set in a region with few other employment opportunities in rural southern Ireland, Lisheen Mine has been in operation since 1999.
"Mining operations will cease at the end of November, and the milling operations will cease during December," Vedanta said in a statement to AFP.
"There was a lot of expectation we'd get another few years," Tim Bergin, a worker in the mine for the past 15 years, told AFP.
"Up until last year even, there was a hope they would drill out, find more and they might extend it," he said.
"But it's closing. That's it."
Its closure will leave Tara, Europe's largest zinc mine, as the only active zinc extraction point in Ireland, accounting for 150,000- 200,000 tonnes a year.
Tara, owned by Swedish company Boliden (Other OTC: BDNNF - news) , is expected to continue production until 2019.
Analyst Caroline Bain at Capital Economics, a research consultancy, said: "Given the current price environment I can't envisage a new project."
Zinc prices have fallen by almost 30 percent this year to six-year lows and earlier this month dropped temporarily below the $1,500 per tonne threshold.
"Ireland was the 10th producer of zinc in the world, as well as the largest in Europe, with 300,000 metric tonnes of zinc mined in 2014," said Justas Gedvilas, industry analyst at Euromonitor International.
The country was responsible for 2.2 percent of global output and 28 percent of European output in 2014.
The closure of Lisheen will almost halve Ireland's zinc output and reduce global supply by 1.2 percent.
"Yet the closures should not have a huge effect on the overall Irish economy as mining contributes only 0.02 percent of Irish GDP (gross domestic product)," Gedvilas said.
- More reserves to explore -
Zinc is a metal traditionally used to galvanise steel to protect it from corrosion but is also used in construction, electronics and to make batteries.
Analysts said a reduction in supply could push up the global price of zinc somewhat, but mainly due to the depletion of larger sources such as Century (Shenzhen: 300078.SZ - news) in Australia, which is also due to close this year.
"Other mines are closing elsewhere so it is playing a part in the general picture of a tightening supply outlook," said Bain.
The Lisheen plant, which is surrounded by bog and farm land, stepped up its wind-down in the last eight months, with the workforce dwindling as the final day of production draws closer.
Staff member Pat Hynes, 53, predicted he will have to commute to find work once he loses his job, even suggesting he may have to go to Britain.
"There aren't many mining jobs in Ireland. There's certainly nothing around here."
A number of companies, including Glencore (Xetra: A1JAGV - news) and Vedanta, are exploring other prospecting licence areas for lead and zinc in Ireland even though current prices are hardly encouraging.
"The reserves of zinc ore in Ireland are yet far from explored," said Gedvilas, adding that the Irish midlands were "one of the most important ore fields of zinc and lead of the world".
By Conor Barrins | AFP – Sun, Nov 29, 2015
original story at https://uk.news.yahoo.com/tumbling-zinc-prices-hit-corner-032942974.html#7IpKZ0v