LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Major mining companies are looking to invest in countries they previously considered too risky, including Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, propelled by a dwindling pipeline of big copper mines elsewhere and record-high prices.
Investor wariness about uncertain regulatory environments, challenging working conditions and corruption have meant some listed companies favoured countries such as Australia or Canada, despite the higher costs of operating there.
But perceived improvements – and the impetus for more copper, a metal essential to the burgeoning electric vehicle industry – are starting to convince some miners that the possible reward could outweigh the risk.
“I am confident we have the capabilities to pursue opportunities in what some would see as tougher jurisdictions, but the size of the opportunity needs to be commensurate with the increase in management effort that is going to be required,” BHP CEO Mike Henry said last week.
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