Ageing mines push the price of copper higher

According to The Times (5 August) the world’s largest miners have all unexpectedly missed their copper production targets during the first half, resulting in substantially higher prices for the metal. This is adding to supply-side price pressures from recent strikes in Chile.

A couple of interesting quotes from Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto’s chief executive:

“A lot of the world’s largest copper mines are quite mature now and we have probably seen the best of them.”
“What we are seeing now is the result of decisions taken a decade ago not to invest in new mines because the price of the metal was too low”

On the demand side, Albanese believes that rising demand from other Asian countries and India will offset any slowing from China.

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