Is the resource boom over? A resounding No! – by Lawrence Williams ( – May 16, 2012)

Speaking at the New York Hard Assets Investment Conference this week, respected analyst Adrian Day gave the reasons for his belief that the recent resource boom is still far from over.

NEW YORK (MINEWEB) – Not surprisingly – given metal price performance at the time – the audience at the New York Hard Assets Investment Conference was a little depressed. With gold heading down to the low $1500s – the lowest for several months and, of course, junior mining stocks, which is the sector most of the audience would be there to hear about, having been particularly hard hit.
What the audience really wanted advice on was addressed in one of the earlier keynote presentations by Adrian Day.  Is the resource boom over? was the title of his talk and he prefaced it with an immediate No!    In particular he made some very salient points about global copper production and the copper market itself.  He pointed out that the shortest full copper price cycle in recent history was 17 years, while the current copper cycle only started in 2001 – so if this is the end of the current resource boom this would be the shortest such cycle in over 200 years by a very long margin – which he did not see as likely.
Also he made the very apposite point that most of the world’s copper production comes from old mines where production is declining – either for technical or falling grade reasons – while it takes at least a 10 year lead time – mostly a lot longer to bring a significant new copper mine on stream so it is relatively straightforward assessing he future production scenario given that almost certainly there will not be a new major copper mine opened in the next 25 years which is not already known about.
He also pointed out that the longest and strongest booms in resource history have occurred when a new industrial giant emerged – and he pointed to China as epitomising this in the current scenario where the changing pattern of consumption has had a huge impact on global copper demand and pricing through major changes in consumption patterns.  For example, China is already the world’s largest automobile manufacturer, while 26% of Chinese questioned in a recent survey said they would be purchasing a new car in the next six months – this can’t happen as there aren’t that many cars available – but it does demonstrate the potential.
Thus, the ever growing Chinese middle class has exactly the same aspirations as their western counterparts, but growing from a far lower base with a much larger population to service.
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