On 23 February 2019, an accident at the Baiyinchagan mine killed 21 people, injuring a further 29. As a result, the local government forced the company to halt operations for safety inspections. Other mines in the region were also closed for around one month for safety inspections. Yinman Mining has submitted rectification instructions, which include the company’s self-audit of its health and safety procedures. The Ximeng Emergency Bureau is currently reviewing the improvement plans. The review is likely to be a lengthy process, but no time frame has been given for the restart of mining.
Our view: In 2018, the Baiyinchagan mine produced an estimated 7,000 tonnes of tin-in-concentrate. This comprised around 8% of China’s domestic mine production during the year. The closure of the mine has significantly reduced the supply of raw materials in the country, with many smelters reportedly struggling. The restart of the mine will help ease the tight concentrate market in the country. However, this will likely not take place until after the Chinese Spring Festival, which ends at the beginning of February.