Aus Tin Mining Limited (ASX:ANW) CEO, Peter Williams discusses the commissioning of a crusher at Granville, what’s planned for the rest of the year and the outlook for tin prices.
Jessica Amir: Hello. I'm Jessica Amir for the Finance News Network and joining us now over the phone from Aus Tin Mining (ASX:ANW) is CEO Peter Williams. Hi, Peter, and welcome back to the network. It's great to chat to you again and hope you're well in Brisbane.
Peter Williams: Thanks Jessica. I appreciate the opportunity.
Jessica Amir: First up, Peter, Aus Tin Mining (ASX:ANW) just announced that the company has commissioned the crusher at Granville. Just take us through the details and what this means for the project.
Peter Williams: We're real excited by this development. It's a major milestone for us and it'll be the first time since we actually commenced the operations that we can now deliver crushed, high grade skarn material from the mine to the processing plant. Our expectations with the delivery of that crushed high grade material is that that we'll see throughput at the processing plant increase as will concentrate production. And given our costs are relatively fixed, this means that we should move towards positive cashflow.
Separately, we're making other changes in the plant as well, and we've certainly had some success with reduction in tails grade and improved tin recovery and we're really excited by some of the other opportunities that we're pursuing at the moment.
Jessica Amir: And well done on the progress. So, what's planned at Granville for the rest of this quarter and the year?
Peter Williams: I guess firstly, we want to fully realise the benefits from transitioning across to this crushed high grade skarn material. So we're really focused on getting tin concentrate production up during the second half of this quarter and a resumption of tin sales. So, that's our first priority.
Also planned for the quarter is following further discussions with regulators we're happy to be able to commence sales of waste rock to the nearby wind farm. And we're also looking potentially at exploration and other opportunities that will enable us to extend the life of the mine.
Look, I've said previously that the delays in getting to this point are regrettable but we're certainly very much looking forward now and with this, I guess the development with the crusher, it's a real exciting period for the Granville operation and we believe it'll become a key contributor for the company's success.
Jessica Amir: And just lastly, Peter, before we let you go, we've seen the US tin price recently weaken to about $16,500 a tonne US. Do you think this is a short, medium or longer term position for the metal?
Peter Williams: It's probably more short term. I think what we're seeing is a reduction in semiconductor sales and that's coming about due to trade tensions between the US and China, but also South Korea and Japan. And just bear in mind that about 50 per cent of all tin consumption is used in electronics, so things like semiconductors with the balance being chemicals, tin plating and lead acid batteries. So this electronic market is a really important one for us. Some of these trade tensions settle out, we'll see prices improve.
That said, there has been an increase in LME stocks and currently the combined LME in Shanghai at around 12,000 tonnes is higher than where it has been and that's probably having a short term impact on the price, but it's worth bearing in mind that even at 12,000 tonnes, that's still less than two weeks' worth of global supply.
Tin is certainly at an historical perspective, very low in terms of stocks. I think long term tin still looks very good. There is this broad electrification across the economy and tin plays a really important part of that. Tin is the glue that holds everything together. And there was a really interesting graph there I put up at the Noosa Conference in July which showed a really strong correlation between the tin price and the copper price over a period since 2008. So what I said at the conference there is if you're a copper bull you should be a tin bull as well because tin is very much part of the future electrification of the economy.
Jessica Amir: Peter Williams, thank you so much for your insights and thanks for the company update.
Peter Williams: Thanks Jessica. Appreciate that.