The upward momentum in zinc concentrates spot treatment charges (TCs) may be capped by the lower availability of Australian concentrates due to the estimated month-late delivery of parcels from the flooded North Queensland area, several smelters told Fastmarkets.

The floods in early February had blocked the railroad to the Port of Townsville, which is the export gateway for MMG’s Dugald River mine and Glencore’s Mount Isa and McArthur River mine, according to the company websites. One major zinc smelter source was informed that their delivery of contractual tonnages from Glencore’s two North Queensland projects would be suspended for three weeks. ‘It’s still too early to tell when the rail network will resume operations. We have no idea when they can be repaired,” the well-informed source said. Last year, the Mount Isa and McArther River mines had a combined output of 533,000 tonnes per year of zinc in concentrates.