With the mating season well underway, market rumours suggest that mines and smelters are very far apart in the 2017 annual contract negotiations. We forecast a very tight concentrate market and a rapidly rising zinc price (from an average $2700/t in Q1 to $3700/t in Q4) this year. There is a growing risk that the concept of price participation could be abandoned. TCs would then be set by the mine or smelter side with the stronger negotiating position that year determined solely by the availability of concentrate. This would result in a new inverse correlation between price and TC. This year could be when the mine-side makes this move and could result in falling TCs. It would be most unwelcome and resisted by smelters. Traditional concentrate flows could be substantially disrupted, as could business that is priced using ‘benchmark’ reference contracts.