The zinc price is at a decade high and the outlook is for it to stay strong for much of 2018, underscoring decisions by miners in SA to step up production and bring fresh metal to the market. Acting on the fundamentals of supply and demand, the metal used to galvanise steel to protect it from corrosion has shown strong price growth, more than doubling since 2016, says John Meyer, a resources analyst at SP Angel in London. He said supply constraints came at a time when Chinese demand was strong and had resulted in global stockpiles falling to 2008 levels. The news is good for South African-focused companies operating in the Northern Cape. India’s Vedanta Resources, which is bringing its Gamsberg zinc mine into steady state production, and newly formed Orion Minerals, which plans to restart mining at the mothballed Prieska copper and zinc mine, are tapping into untouched resources and using modern mass-mining methods. While SA is a small player in the global market, these two projects...

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