China’s Yunnan Tin Company was the largest producer of tin in 2021. Find out which other companies made the list.
World tin production increased in 2021, amounting to 300,000 metric tons (MT) compared with 264,000 MT in 2020.
China retained its position as the largest producer of tin with output of 91,000 MT, and Indonesia came in a distant second at 71,000 MT.
According to the US Geological Survey’s most recent report on the metal, the increase in tin production came on the back of higher prices and in spite of an “adequate supply of refined tin to meet rebounding consumer demand."
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 the International Tin Association’s list of the 10 top refined tin-producing companies. Together, these companies represent 59 percent of global tin production. Read on to learn more details on the largest producers of tin in 2021.
1. Yunnan Tin Company (SZSE:000960)
Refined tin production: 82,000 MT
China’s Yunnan Tin Company was easily the largest producer of tin in 2021, putting out 82,000 MT of the metal, a notable increase 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.
Refined tin production: 31,843 MT
The next-largest producer of tin last year was Peru-based, privately owned Minsur. The company also produces some gold. Last year, its tin output came in at 31,843 MT, moving it up one rung to the second spot.
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.
3. PT Timah (IDX:TINS)
Refined tin production: 26,500 MT
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 26,500 MT of tin, a sizeable decrease from 45,700 MT in 2020. The company held the number one spot in 2019 as export regulations led to private smelters ceasing their own production and renting out their capacity to PT Timah, which effectively allowed the company to more than double its tin production that year. Those private smelters ended those contracts in 2020.
4. Yunnan Chengfeng Non-ferrous Metals
Refined tin production: 17,000 MT
Founded in 1994, Yunnan Chengfeng Non-ferrous Metals is China’s second largest producer of tin, behind Yunnan Tin Company. In 2021, it produced 17,000 MT of tin, increasing its output by 500 MT. 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.
5. Malaysia Smelting (KLSE:MSC)
Refined tin production: 16,400 MT
The fifth largest producer of tin last year was Malaysia Smelting, which produced 16,400 MT of tin in 2021, down from 22,400 MT in 2020. This 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.
6. Thailand Smelting and Refining
Refined tin production: 12,100 MT
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 2021, the company produced 12,100 MT of the metal. The company has been managed and operated by the UK’s Amalgamated Metal since 1995, and Amalgamated Metal is its largest shareholder.
7. Empresa Metalúrgica Vinto
Refined tin production: 12,100 MT
After a 70 percent increase in production, Bolivian state-owned Empresa Metalúrgica Vinto is back on the top 10 tin producers list for 2021. The company receives and processes material from mining cooperatives, large- and small-scale miners and other companies that produce or sell tin concentrates. The Bolivian government nationalized the Vinto smelter in May 2010 and added four new furnaces with a combined capacity to process 1,000 MT per year of tin.
8. Jiangxi New Nanshan
Refined tin production: 11,600 MT
As its name suggests, Jiangxi New Nanshan entered the global tin market fairly recently when the first tin smelter came online in the Chinese province of Jiangxi in 2009. The smelter originally had a designed capacity of 10,000 MT of refined tin per year. In 2019, Jiangxi New Nanshan became a top 10 tin producer after a 122 percent increase in tin output. In 2021, the company raised its production level by another 40 percent.
9. Aurubis Beerse
Refined tin production: 9,800 MT
Belgium’s Aurubis Beerse produced 9,800 MT of tin in 2021, up from 9,000 MT in 2020. The private company operates a unique recycling and refining facility that processes secondary raw materials for the production of copper, tin, lead and nickel.
Aurubis is Europe’s largest tin producer and bills itself as a “zero waste producer.” It states that its tin ingots are “well known for the low level of lead content.”
10. Guangxi China Tin
Refined tin production: 9,200 MT
Guangxi China Tin is another of the largest producers of tin, putting out 9,200 MT last year. Behind Yunnan Tin Company and Yunnan Chengfeng Non-ferrous Metals, it’s the fourth 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.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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