The company had to declare force majeure under a number of its agreements due to an unplanned stoppage of production at the Port Pirie smelter, which has been offline since May. The smelter originally planned to resume operations at the end of June.

The London Metal Exchange three-month lead price was recently at $1,898 per tonne, up by $14 from Monday’s closing price and the only base metal in positive price territory in morning trading on Tuesday July 9.

Fastmarkets’ 99.99% purity lead ingot premium is unchanged week on week at $120-140 per tonne on a cif Southeast Asia basis, one of Port Pirie’s main markets, but market participants said the premium could firm if the outage persists.

“The extended unplanned shutdown will have a material negative impact on production at Port Pirie and underlying Ebitda [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization],” Nyrstar said in its latest press release.

“Nyrstar is continuing to quantify the impact and will provide further information regarding the resolution of the production outage in due course and by no later than the H1 2019 results release.”