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Korea Zinc Wins $429.9 Million Silver Order From Japan

Korea Zinc Co., the world’s biggest producer of refined zinc, won a $429.9 million order to deliver silver to Japan’s Sumitomo Corp.

The Seoul-based company will supply the white metal from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 next year, it said in a regulatory filing today. The contract value is equivalent to 19.4 percent of its total revenue last year, the filing shows. The company didn’t provide further details.

Korea Zinc is seeking to boost production of silver and other metals on rising demand. Silver for immediate delivery surged 68 percent this year, outperforming gold and copper, while zinc fell 16 percent. It earns about half its revenue from zinc and lead and the rest from by-products including gold and silver that are produced from refining zinc ore.

Korea Zinc said on Nov. 24 it agreed to buy stakes in Canada’s Woulfe Mining Corp. and the miner’s Korean units for a combined C$50 million ($48.9 million) to take advantage of rising demand for minor metals, gold and silver.

Korea Zinc shares rose 4.7 percent, the biggest daily gain in almost two weeks, to close at 291,500 won in Seoul trading. Spot silver traded 0.8 percent higher at $28.2875 an ounce at 3:18 p.m. in Seoul.

Korea Zinc was the world’s biggest producer of refined zinc by 2009 output, followed by Belgium’s Nyrstar, India’s Hindustan Zinc Ltd. and Xstrata Plc, according to London-based metals-consulting company CRU.

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