MMG boss Michelmore says copper will be deficit in 2016 – by Peter Ker (Sydney Morning Herald – December 14, 2015)

MMG chief executive Andrew Michelmore has revealed himself to be perhaps the most bullish of the copper bulls, saying that copper markets could be in deficit in 2016.

Speaking ahead of MMG’s first day of listing on the ASX on Monday, Mr Michelmore said the slow delivery of new copper mines plus China’s need to continue developing infrastructure like its electricity grid would ensure copper prices recover from their current woes.

“This year was surplus in copper but nowhere near the tonnage that was expected and our analysis, and my own feel for it, is that next year will actually be in a deficit, certainly in the second half and I think that is making copper far more attractive,” he said.

Mr Michelmore’s view on copper is far more bullish than that of BHP Billiton, which has suggested that a copper shortage is about four years away. Rio Tinto’s copper boss Jean Sebastien Jacques has suggested prices will improve in early 2017.

MMG’s portfolio is dominated by copper and other base metals like zinc, lead and silver. Its flagship Las Bambas copper mine will begin production in the first three months of 2016.

The ASX listing, which has been rumoured for years, has been timed to get MMG on the local radar before Las Bambas begins production.

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