This Morning in Metals: China’s Henan to hike fees for high-polluting steel producers

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This morning in metals news: the Chinese province of Henan will raise its fees for steel and cement producers that do not meet low-emissions targets; BMO says the copper concentrate market will tighten this year; and the Oyu Tolgoi project took another step forward this past week.

China to hike fees for polluting steel plants

According to Reuters, China’s Henan province will hike fees for steel and cement plants that fail to meet emissions standards.

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The province produced 33 million tons of crude steel in 2019, according to the report.

Copper market to tighten

The copper market is set to tighten this year, according to BMO.

In part as a result of rising coronavirus infection rates in top copper producer Chile, copper output could take a hit this year, BMO Capital Markets head of commodities research Colin Hamilton is cited by Kitco as saying.

The copper price has soared in recent months, aided by demand recovery in China. The LME three-month copper price has surged 31.6% since hitting its 2020 nadir in late March.

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Oyu Tolgoi project advances

The Oyu Tolgoi copper project, jointly owned by the Mongolian government and Turquoise Hill Resources — which is majority-owned by Rio Tinto — took another step forward last week.

“Oyu Tolgoi LLC has completed an updated feasibility study (OTFS20) and is in the process of submitting this to the Government of Mongolia,” Rio Tinto said last week. “The OTFS20 has been prepared in accordance with Mongolian regulations and standards which require mining companies to submit updated feasibility studies every five years. The updated study incorporates a new mine design for Panel 0 of the Hugo Dummett North underground mine at Oyu Tolgoi. The new design also confirms that the caving method of mining remains valid and that the underground schedule and costs remain within the ranges previously disclosed.”

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