The United States has challenged European Union proposals to label titanium dioxide and cobalt as carcinogens on free-trade grounds.

As consumer inventories of cobalt start to run low, their metal restocking alone is unlikely to establish a floor in ailing prices, such is the believed extent of the surplus, Fastmarkets’ market sources said.

Korea Zinc and Teck Resources have signed an annual zinc concentrate supply contract with treatment charges (TCs) at their highest level since 2015, sources said.

The availability of alumina hydrate in the North American market was not expected to be a problem in 2019 despite producer Norsk Hydro’s Alunorte bauxite mine in northern Brazil still running at half-capacity, market participants have told Fastmarkets.

Rio Tinto has issued a warning over a possible iron ore output loss of 14 million tonnes due to disruptions to its production in Australia caused by a cyclone that hit the country’s west coast last month.