Higher copper prices here to stay, says Chile’s Antofagasta – by Marcus Leroux (The Australian – March 15, 2017)


The Times – Steadily growing demand from China and a dearth of new mines mean that higher copper prices are here to stay, Antofagasta claims, as it raised its dividend and posted improved profits.

The Chilean-based mining group has been one of the chief beneficiaries of the rally in copper prices in recent months. The world’s two largest copper mines have halted production, while commodity prices have benefited generally from supply cutbacks and the promise of renewed infrastructure spending in the US.

The company said that there was growing demand from emerging markets, principally China, while production is slowing because the grade of ore being mined is falling and few new mines are being developed.

It said in a statement that there are “wild cards of course, but these are more likely to be positive for the copper price”, pointing to the Trump administration’s promise of a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan and increased risk of disruptions to supply.

Ivan Arriagada, chief executive, said: “To the extent there’s more growth in the US and more public spending, that will also have an impact on commodities. But the level of intensity in commodity consumption is still driven by what’s occurring in emerging markets.”

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