Doe Run to Export More Lead Ore After Closing Down U.S. Smelter

Doe Run Co., the world’s third-largest producer of lead from mines, will export more semi-processed ore in 2014 after closing a U.S. smelter this month.

The shutdown will leave about 240,000 dry metric tons of lead concentrate available to the global market next year, Tammy Stankey, senior communications liaison at the St. Louis-based company, said today by e-mail. Shipments will go mainly to Europe and Asia, she said.

Production at its smelter in the Missouri city of Herculaneum will halt at the end of this month, Doe Run said today in an e-mailed statement. The company announced the closing previously. Lead, used in batteries and radiation shielding, has been produced at the site for 120 years, the statement showed.

The smelter produces about 130,000 tons of lead annually, accounting for 8 percent to 10 percent of U.S. supply, according to Stankey. Doe Run will keep operating its lead mines and mills in Missouri, the statement showed. The company recycles about 13.5 million lead-acid batteries a year at a center in the state, according to its website.

Lead concentrate is an intermediate product used to make refined metal, according to the website of Stockholm-based mining company Boliden AB.

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