World tin production increased slightly in 2017, amounting to 290,000 MT compared with 288,000 MT in 2016. China remained the largest producer of tin at 100,000 MT, with Indonesia coming in a distant second at 50,000 MT.
According to the US Geological Survey’s most recent report on the metal, the overall incline in tin production came on the back of higher prices. That coincides with the fact that the tin market has been in deficit for nine of the last 10 years, and is expected to remain in deficit as tin use increases.
While it’s interesting to look at tin production at the country level, it’s also worth knowing which companies are the largest producers of tin. That information can be found on ITRI’s list of the 10 top refined tin-producing companies of 2017. Read on for details on the largest producers of tin in 2017.
1. Yunnan Tin Company (SZSE:000960)
Refined tin production: 74,500 tonnes
China’s Yunnan Tin Company was easily the largest producer of tin in 2017, putting out 74,500 tonnes of the metal; that’s a small decrease from the previous year. The company, which trades on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, is a subsidiary of state-owned Yunnan Tin Group (Holding) Company, which traces its roots back to 1883. In addition to being the largest tin-producing company in the world, Yunnan Tin Company is also the largest precious metals research and development center in China.
2. PT Timah (IDX:TINS)
Refined tin production: 30,200 tonnes
PT Timah is a state-owned Indonesian company that was established in 1976 and is headquartered in Bangka-Belitung province. It’s a manufacturer and exporter of tin with operations ranging from exploration and mining to processing to marketing. The company has a number of subsidiaries.
Last year, it produced 30,200 tonnes of tin, a sizeable jump from 23,756 tonnes in 2016. This increase is thought to be the result of more favorable weather, government regulations and tin prices.
3. Malaysia Smelting (KLSE:SMELT)
Refined tin production: 27,200 tonnes
The third-largest producer of tin last year was Malaysia Smelting, which produced 27,200 tonnes of tin in 2017, an increase from 26,802 tonnes 2016. The company is also over a century old, and since 1887 has been a key integrated producer of tin and tin-based products, as well as a leader in custom tin smelting.
4. Yunnan Chengfeng Non-ferrous Metals
Refined tin production: 26,800 tonnes
Founded in 1994, Yunnan Chengfeng Non-ferrous Metals is China’s second-largest producer of tin, behind Yunnan Tin Company. In 2017, it produced 26,800 tonnes of tin, increasing its output by 33.3 percent. Aside from tin, it produces indium, silver, gold, lead, bismuth and antimony. It has over 1,800 sets of smelting equipment, as well as 100 sets of environmental protection equipment.
Refined tin production: 18,000 tonnes
The next largest producer of tin last year was Peru-based, privately owned Minsur. It is a major tin producer, though it also produces some gold. Last year, its tin output came in at 19,583 tonnes.
The company’s origins date back to the beginning of the 20th century, and it currently owns the San Rafael mine, which it bills as South America’s largest tin-producing mine. San Rafael has been operated by Minsur since 1977, and today produces 12 percent of the world’s tin. Minsur also holds a smelter and refinery, where it completes the tin production cycle.
6. Empresa Metalurgica Vinto
Refined tin production: 12,600 tonnes
Empresa Metalurgica Vinto is a state-owned Bolivian company that produces high-grade metallic tin ingots, receiving and processing concentrate from tin miners. In 2017, it put out 12,600 tonnes of tin.
7. Guangxi China Tin
Refined tin production: 11,500 tonnes
Guangxi China Tin is another of the largest producers of tin, putting out 11,500 tonnes last year. Behind Yunnan Tin Company and Yunnan Chengfeng Non-ferrous Metals, it’s the third-biggest producer of tin in China. The private company, which was established in 1990, also produces indium, lead, antimony, zinc, silver, cadmium and bismuth, among other metals.
8. Thailand Smelting and Refining
Refined tin production: 10,600 tonnes
Founded in 1963, Thailand Smelting and Refining, better known as THAISARCO, is a private firm that manufactures tin, tin alloys and tin-related value-added products. In 2017, the company produced 10,600 tonnes of tin. The company has been managed and operated by the UK’s Amalgamated Metal since 1995, and Amalgamated Metal is its largest shareholder.
9. Metallo Chimique
Refined tin production: 9,700 tonnes
Switzerland’s Metallo Chimique produced 9,700 tonnes of tin in 2017, up from 8,541 tonnes in 2016. The private company operates a unique recycling and refining facility that processes secondary raw materials for the production of copper, tin, lead and nickel.
Metallo bills itself as a “zero-waste producer,” and states that its tin ingots are “well known for the low level of lead content.” Metallo’s increase in production is thought to be thanks to increased availability of waste and scrap tin, as a result of higher tin prices.
10. Gejiu Zi-Li Metallurgy
Refined tin production: 8,700 tonnes
The last largest producer of tin is China’s Gejui Zi-Li Metallurgy, which produced 8,700 tonnes of tin last year. Yunnan Tin Company bought a 67-percent stake in the company in 2007, and Gejui Zi-Li currently operates a smelter based in the same city as Yunnan Tin Company. A private company, Gejui Zi-Li is China’s fourth-largest tin producer.
Now that you know about the largest producers of tin, would you invest in the metal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Amanda Kay, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.